1. Meat has a heavy environmental footprint
Producing animal protein requires up to 17 times as much land as vegetable protein, up to 26 times as much water, and up to 7 times as much phosphate, a dwindling natural resource1. Compared to plants, meat demands a lot from the environment.
2. Out-of-season produce requires a lot of energy
One study shows that an Austrian winter tomato has 12 times the emissions of a summer one2.
3. Flown foods weigh heavily on the planet
Food miles are complex. However, regardless of how you crunch the data, flying food comes with a big footprint. Air transport emissions are around 100 times those from shipping3. The usual suspects are fresh beans from Africa, asparagus from South America and fresh tropical fruits. Fresh seasonal produce grown in Europe or dried or canned equivalents have much lower food miles.
1Quantification of the environmental impact of different dietary protein choices – The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
2Contrasted greenhouse gas emissions from local versus long-range tomato production
3The Validity of Food Miles as an Indicator of Sustainable Development