Friday, 09 April 2010 20:46

Eco-challenge: Eat Less Meat

Written by Ilke
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Monthly eco-challenge: Eat less meat!


The "eco-foodprint" of eating meat has been underestimated and here are just a few examples: 

  • Cattle are producing 18% of all green house gases.
  • 78% of all agricultural land is used for cattle (fodder and grazing).
  • More than 2/3 of all agricultural production in Europe is used for fodder.
  • To produce 1 kg of meat, you need 15.000 litres of water, while 1 kg of grain or potatoes only need 1.000 litres.
  • Water pollution, deforestation, energy use, air pollution, loss of biodiversity, more waste and antibiotics in our food are but a few other negative effects on the environment (see the FAO document “Livestock’s Long  Shadow” for more details).
  • The well-being of the animals has often been totally neglected, especially in big farming industries

What can you do?

  • Eat organic meat and meat from small-scale farming where the well-being of the animals has been taken into account.
  • Eat less meat and replace it with alternatives like fish (see our sustainable fish guides), beans, peas, lentils, tofu, seitan, cheese, eggs or other sources of proteine.
  • Alternate between different types of meat (the bigger the animal, the more it pollutes).
  • Take smaller portions of meat when you eat it and "beef up" your plate with veggies instead.
  • Try out all kinds of vegetarian dishes and be creative when you barbeque.
  • Join in with the Donderdag Veggie Dag ("Thursday Veggie Day", introduced in Ghent by the Ethical Vegetarian Alternative)
  • Or just go vegetarian!

If you want to know more on the impact of your diet on our planet, read Jane Goodall’s “Harvest for Hope. A Guide to Mindful Eating”. The book is also sold at Sunbeams events.

This article was originally published in the June 2009 edition of the Sunbeams newsletter.


Last modified on Monday, 05 December 2011 21:37


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