Plant-based meat 10 times more sustainable than beef, study finds
Global food production is responsible for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, and in this startling statistic, almost 60% of these emissions can be attributed to meat production. But meat products could present more environmental problems than previously thought. Oxford University has published a study looking at 57,000 food products to find that plant-based sausages and burgers measure up 10 times more ecological than their meat counterparts.
The study assessed the environmental impacts of commonly purchased food products to understand the relationship between food production and the climate crisis. Led by researchers from Oxford’s Livestock, Environment, and People program and Oxford Population Health, the study explored greenhouse gas emissions, land use, eutrophication potential (the process of water enrichment with nutrients and minerals) and water stress to determine this plant. meat is the best choice for the planet.
“By estimating the environmental impact of food and drink products in a standardized way, we have taken an important first step towards providing information that can support informed decision-making,” said lead author Dr Michael Clark. “We still need to figure out how best to communicate this information effectively, in order to change behaviors towards more lasting results, but evaluating the impact of products is an important step.”
To determine whether plant-based meat is the best choice for shoppers, the researchers combined scores from all food samples. The study aimed to provide more information to shoppers who more often keep sustainability top of mind in the store. Even though food giants continue to make bold claims to set zero greenhouse gas standards, most meat and dairy companies are still contributing dangerously high emissions.
The study also found that beef jerky products, including jerky, are among the worst foods for the environment. Choosing plant-based meats can help consumers reduce negative environmental contributions five to ten times.
“For the first time, we have a transparent and comparable method to assess the environmental footprint of multi-ingredient processed foods,” Scarborough said in a statement. statement. “These types of food make up most of the purchases we make in supermarkets, but until now there was no way to directly compare their impact on the environment.”
Heat waves scorched the planet this summer: here’s what to do
This summer, heat waves across the world underscored the severity of the climate crisis. Wildfires and droughts have been caused by record high temperatures, and new research shows this is the start claiming similar extreme heat waves will increase by 30% in coming years. However, the UN’s third IPCC report says the world still has time to fight climate change. The report stressed that governments and citizens should begin the transition to plant-based foods to protect the planet.
A impossible burger requires 78 times less space to create than a classic beef burger. Beyond Meat’s sustainability report found that its meat alternatives use 99% less water, 93% less land and 46% less energy. A study published in January found that plant-based diets can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 61%.
Vegan meat is more sustainable and healthier
This month, the University of Bath discovered that vegan meat is healthier and more sustainable than regular meat. The in-depth study looked at 43 studies that address health and environmental factors in relation to consumer behavior. Researchers found that 90% of consumers who tried meat and plant-based dairy were meat eaters or “flexitarians” who hope to minimize their animal intake but have not completely given up meat. and dairy products.
This study also focused on how meat substitutes work to persuade consumers to try sustainable options. By introducing more plant-based meat, consumers are more likely to switch to plant-based diets.
For more plant-based events, check out The Beet’s News articles.