New dietary guidelines for Australia

ARRCC's Eat Less Meat working group recently prepared a submission on Australia's new dietary guidelines.

ARRCC's Eat Less Meat working group recently prepared a submission on Australia's new dietary guidelines.


ARRCC believes that Australia's dietary guidelines should provide guidance on the optimal diet to ensure the health and wellbeing of Australians both now and into the future, including mitigating as much as possible the health impacts of climate change. 

We believe that the guidelines, in their current format, are incomplete as they do not consider the way a food is sourced or its method of production. We have therefore prepared a submission to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) as part of its consultation on the draft dietary guidelines.

You can download
ARRCC's full submission:


Or read a summary of it below.


Jenni Downes, an Executive Committee member and member of the Eat Less Meat working group, also prepared a personal submission which she has made available for ARRCC members to read.


Summary our ARRCC's subsmission


ARRCC is very concerned that the draft guidelines do not provide enough advice to the public on sustainable food choices and environmentally friendly food practices. In particular, we are extremely concerned that the guidelines have failed to consider the carbon emissions associated with food production, packaging, transport, storage, waste and disposal.

ARRCC would like to see a more balanced approach to the formulation of the dietary guidelines and healthy eating guide so that they can become a useful tool to help Australians meet their overall health needs as well as their specific nutritional needs. This would involve not jeopardising long-term environmental sustainability. We would recommend incorporating the evidence of the sustainability and climate change impacts of our current food and dietary practices, and vice versa. We would also like to see consideration of climate change adaptation and would like to suggest that the dietary guidelines be thought of as a tool for building resilience and capacity in the community to adapt to climate change.

Incorporating environmental sustainability into the Guidelines has the potential to be an important strategy in reducing Australia's overall greenhouse gas emissions, helping to mitigate climate change, and therefore, improving the health and wellbeing of current and future generations of Australians.


  1. Reduce the focus on meat and dairy consumption, by:
    • Rename the category including lean meat to the more generic category of 'protein'
    • Explicitly and clearly note the need to limit red meat to one serve per day
    • Recommend the inclusion of plant-based sources of protein every day
    • Promote plant-based diets
    • Explicitly include calcium-enriched milk substitutes as dairy replacements
  2. Promote sustainable seafood consumption
  3. Increase resilience and capacity building for climate change adaptation
  4. Highlight the need for careful food provisioning and reduced waste
  5. Encourage the drinking of tap water
  6. Release the literature reviews on the environmental sustainability of food