Celebrity campaign launched to highlight red meat benefits

A campaign to educate people about the key role of lean red meat in a healthy diet has been launched by Great Britain’s three red meat organisations.

Fronted by three celebrities from the worlds of television and sport, #LeanRedMeat was launched on Monday (3 December) across England, Scotland and Wales.

The campaign, from the joint-funded programme by the AHDB, Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales) and Quality Meat Scotland, aims to highlight the nutritional benefits of red meat.

Challenges currently facing red meat

  • Increase of vocal vegetarians and vegans, such as the Veganuary campaign
  • Rise in popularity of flexitarian diets, such as Meat Free Mondays
  • Criticism of the environmental effect of beef and sheepmeat production, and in particular high greenhouse gas emissions
  • Misinformation being spread about the effect of red meat on diets
  • Proposed meat tax, similar to sugar tax, to reduce consumption

See also: Alternative proteins pose fresh challenge to meat and dairy

It also intends to counter misinformation on the role of red meat in a balanced diet.

Welsh and Lions rugby star Shane Williams, television presenter and Celebrity MasterChef winner Angellica Bell and ex-Scotland rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Thom Evans are fronting the campaign for Wales, England and Scotland, respectively.

Each celebrity surprised a fan in Cardiff, Edinburgh and London to teach them a quick and easy recipe with lean red meat and to educate them on the nutritional benefits of incorporating it in a balanced diet.

Watch Mr Evans create delicious and nutritious beef fajitas, courtesy of the #LeanRedMeat campaign, in the video below.


Aiming to appeal to a younger audience, the campaign has a social media focus and will include the hashtags #WeekdayWinner and #MidweekMeal to encourage more midweek meat meals.

A nutrition factsheet has been developed for distribution to healthcare professionals.

Red meat factsheet

Gwyn Howells, HCC chief executive, said: “We have a good story to tell on the positive role lamb, beef and pork can play in a healthy, balanced diet, supplying a wide range of essential nutrients.”

The campaign has been funded by the £2m AHDB red meat levies that have been ring-fenced for collaborative projects, which is managed by the three meat levy bodies.

This fund is an interim arrangement, while a long-term solution is sought on the issue of levies being collected at point of slaughter in England for animals reared in Scotland or Wales.

Benefits of red meat

  • High nutrient density.
  • Major source of protein.
  • The type of iron found in red meat (haem iron) is more easily absorbed and used by the body than the iron in plant foods.
  • Good source of readily absorbable zinc, which is important for the healthy functioning of the immune system, growth, wound healing and fertility.
  • Provides other minerals such as potassium and selenium. Selenium is an important antioxidant.
  • Significant source of B vitamins and has recently been found to make an important contribution to vitamin D intakes.
  • On average fully trimmed raw lean beef contains just 5% fat and fully trimmed raw lean lamb 8%.
  • About half of the fat found in red meat is unsaturated, which is believed to be healthier.
  • Contains small amounts of Omega 3 fats, which help to keep the heart healthy.
  • Naturally low in salt.

Source: AHDB Beef & Lamb