A much-shared, disputed, graphic from Cop26 claiming a vegan croissant is worse than a bacon roll is the latest challenge to the dominant mantra – go vegan, no meat.
Food is how we can make a difference to climate change, what we choose to eat. It’s nutrient content and it’s carbon footprint. So for every kg of meat the animal requires 80kg of plant.
Land-use represents a key source of CO2 emissions. In much of the world native habitats are being destroyed to make space for agricultural expansion. This leads to carbon previously locked up in vegetation being lost to the atmosphere. There is growing interest in silvopasture – integrating trees in grazing areas – and where soils have been degraded by intensive field operations we can change management to help restore and maintain soil carbon.
Wild East paper – Food production, energy, chemicals. Food Transport,
What no meat? Patrick Holden, director of the Sustainable Food Trust, organic pioneer and a regenerative farmer since the 1970s, views things differently. “This mantra of moving to a plant-based diet is just plain wrong. We should ask which plants we should eat, and which animals and animal products.” Industrial chicken, pork and dairy production, Holden argues, are only possible because of environmentally unsustainable grain monocultures; stop these and cheap, polluting meat production would end.
Eating what is growing locally not only reduces food miles, it naturally limits or eliminates the need for artificial heat, light, fertiliser and pesticide. Coffee? Tea?
36m tonnes of greenhouse gas emission is associated with food that gets thrown away; 70% of that waste happens at home. £2.00 chickens are easy to leave and throw away,
Giki Badges allows you to scan a product barcode (the app has 250,000 references), and check whether it qualifies as “low carbon footprint”, “UK made”, “sustainable palm oil” or “better packaging”…
Which on diet post COP26. Five ways to effect a change
Food and drink consumption creates 35% of the total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that the UK is responsible for, according to a report published by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in October this year.
1. Cut down on meat and dairy
2. Eat Seasonally – cutting down transport costs
3. Reduce food waste
4. Buy sustainable fish – Although fish can be a lower carbon food than many other animal products, it certainly isn’t free from environmental impacts.
5. Less plastic!