Government document encouraging plant-based diets swiftly removed, in leaked document The document says the government plays the 'biggest role' in driving the necessary behaviour change needed to help the environment - Media Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.

Government Swiftly Deletes Document Advocating Plant-Based Diets Amid Climate Crisis


2 Minutes Read

A UK government agency document encouraging plant-based diets has been swiftly removed right after publication.

The Net Zero: principles for successful behavior change initiatives paper was uploaded by the Behavioural Insights Team and commissioned by the Department for Business.

Government plan deleted

Within the paper, recommendations are exhibited to help the country reach net-zero emission targets by 2050.

In order to meet these targets, a ‘significant’ change in behavior is required, it reads, and this can’t be put down to individual choice. Rather, it says, the government plays the ‘biggest role’ in driving these changes. 

Additionally, the Behavioural Insights Team itself was set up by the government to improve public services. Also called the Nudge Unit, it is a social purpose organization, known for its part in establishing the sugar levy.

The document it published was spotted by the BBC, who obtained a copy before it was reportedly replaced with a note saying it had been uploaded by mistake.

Plant-based recommendations

It states: “Food consumption is a largely automatic, habit-based behavior, strongly driven by cues in our physical, social, and price environment.

“Evidence shows that altering this choice environment is more effective than prompting or imploring people to adopt sustainable diet choices.”

Additionally, nods are made to the sugar levy amongst calls for producers to ‘incentivize’ a ‘reformulation’ of carbon-heavy products.

Further, it suggests an environmental rating for supermarkets and states that low-carbon choices should be made ‘easier’ for consumers.

This is demonstrated by drawing comparisons to e-cigarettes and plant-based meat alternatives.

“Increased availability of plant-based or lab-grown substitues can reduce demand for ruminant products – by increasing choice, not restricting it.”

Net Zero: principles for successful behavior change initiatives

Sustainable choices shouldn’t be more expensive, it adds. And changes can’t come soon enough amid the ‘lack of progress’ in obesity rates over the past three decades. 

Despite this, it accepts that calling on people to eat less meat and dairy is a ‘major political challenge’ – though ‘smaller asks’ could make it possible.

The document release comes after the government has been repeatedly put under fire for being close-mouthed on advocating plant-based diets – ahead of COP26, in particular. 

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The Author

Emily Baker

Emily is a journalist based in Devon, where she reports on issues affecting local people from politics to the environment. She has also written features on feminism for Polyester Magazine.

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11 months ago

Interestingly politicians’ fears of losing their jobs is more important than saving the planet! With this kind of timidity we are doomed.

Cold War Boomerwaffen
11 months ago
Reply to  NickArrizza

Yes I agree. Man should help the planet/humanity by encouraging beef production. Beef is extremely good for the human body and mind. Man made Global warming is a hoax. All of the methane and carbon dioxide produced by any single volcanic eruption is greater than that produced by man in all of human history.

The only reason our corrupt governments are pushing this sick plant based diet is to weaken humanity.

11 months ago

You need to lay off the drugs. And the meat. It’s restricting your ability to think coherently.

Cold War Boomerwaffen
11 months ago
Reply to  Alex

I do believe you are doing drugs. Your body needs meat. Especially red meat ?. You sound like a weak sloppy fat soy boy. Enjoy your soylent green. We’re having steak for dinner. It makes men strong.

Cold War Boomerwaffen
11 months ago

Sickening vegans and their soy boy white knights. Admiral Togo recognized that to increase the size and strength of his sailors they needed to eat beef and drink milk. He successfully changed their diets and they increased in both size and strength.

10 months ago

I think you really need to look at yourself. Why would you post this on a plant based website? You seem to be craving attention – which is why you are trying to shock and provoke us. It won’t work because you have nothing we need. Sorry to disappoint. Have a nice day.

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