Fat chance

It is amazing what kinds of things the cabinet finds to take all-important decisions on – especially while it is waiting to be replaced. Today it was announced that ministers want to cut the official percentage of fat in mince – from a massive 35% to 25%. The amount of fat in lean mince will also be reduced from 20% to 15% – if the cabinet has its way.


The proposal was apparently reached after postive talks with everyone involved – from the consumers organisation to the meat marketing board. The Netherlands gets through a lot of mince – though perhaps a campaign to stop people frying everything might also help. But it’s a start – in more ways than one.
The cabinet might want to see fat levels cut… but that is just the beginning of the process. According to the Ministry of Health’s website, the proposal first has to be sent to the Council of State – the government’s highest advisory body – for its opinion. And then the plan, with the Council’s recommendations, will be sent to parliament where MPs can vote.
You would think that if meat producers were really serious about healthy eating, they would take a unilateral decision to cut fat levels themselves – without all this government involvement. But then, fat is cheaper than lean meat. And the bottom line is, somebody is going to end up footing the bill.