Prince Charles scolds US over its love of beef
America’s appetite for steaks and burgers is not sustainable, Charles tells DC audience
Prince Charles has scolded America over its love of beef in a speech at Georgetown University in which he also appeared to take a swipe at the European Union's common agricultural policy.
He told the audience at the Future of Food conference in Washington that each pound of beef produced in the West used up 2,000 gallons of water and warned: "That is a lot of water and there is plenty of evidence that the Earth cannot keep up with the demand." He said the world's reserves of water were depleted and that we could no longer take supplies of that "magical substance" for granted.
UN figures show that, on average, Americans eat well over 40kg of beef a year - four times the international average and double the amount consumed by the average Briton.
He also criticised America for allowing so much of its farmland to be turned over to other uses and claimed that since 1982 an area the size Indiana had been built on.
But he did not just aim his fire at the US. He also attacked farm subsidies, common in the EU, which he believes promote intensive farming and undermine sustainable agriculture.
He described it as a "curiously perverse economic incentive systems" and added: "We will have to develop much more sustainable, or durable forms of food production because the ways we have done things up to now are no longer as viable as they once appeared to be."
Prince Charles has long been an advocate of sustainable farming and seemed pleased to be dealing with an issue close to his heart after the hoopla surrounding the wedding of Prince Willianm and Kate Middleton last week. "It certainly makes a change from making embarrassing speeches about my eldest son during wedding receptions," he told the 700-strong audience. ·
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