The Week Without Meat: Fancy saving a trip to Brussels and back?
To reduce the climate impact of food there are four main things any person, restaurant or chef can do. At GiantLeaps we call them our four pillars, because they form the foundation of our calculation work and advice. Coming week is the Dutch National Week Without Meat (Week Zonder Vlees), an initiative by Isabel Boerdam to challenge as many people, companies and restaurants as possible to try to eat more plant based during a week. Hoping that this will lead to new food inspiration to keep up the good habit of eating more plant based. But why does it matter to eat more plant based? Let’s dive into the first of our four pillars.
The climate impact of animal products is generally higher than that of plant based products. The impact of meat is higher than any other food category. Meat production alone accounts for about 14% of global greenhouse gasses emissions. So why is the impact of meat so high? Livestock is the largest consumer of land resources, considering both grazing areas and cropland for producing feed. In other words, meat needs more inputs, space and water than any other food. Secondly, many livestock animals produce methane in their metabolism. A greenhouse gas that is 25 times stronger than CO2 when it comes to climate change.
How much can you win by joining the Week Without Meat? Considering that the average meat eater in the Netherlands consumes around 110 grams of meat per day, a Week Without Meat could save more than 9 kg of CO2 per person. It is the same emissions as doing laundry 13 times at 40 degrees. If you come with ten friends, you can compensate a car trip from Amsterdam to Brussels and back. Research also shows that reducing our consumption of meat and animal products can have beneficial effects on our health. In particular, red meat and processed meat are associated with an increased risk of mortality, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, in both women and men.
Do you want to experience what it is like to make your diet more plant based? Then join the initiative coming week. It is an opportunity to discover a new cuisine, more sustainable and perhaps tastier, and to learn about the advantages of a plant-based diet. And if you are hungry for more information, just contact the team at GiantLeaps.