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12.08.2022 |

Veggie products have only up to a tenth the environmental impact of meat, study

Veggies
Vegetables have a low impact (Photo: A. Beck)

Eating plant-based foods is better for the environment than going for meat and dairy products and more nutritious products are frequently more environmentally sustainable, new research reveals. According to a British study, led by researchers at the universities of Oxford and Aberdeen, many meat alternatives such as plant-based sausages or burgers had a fifth to less than a tenth of the environmental impact of meat-based counterparts. The study, which was published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on August 8th, assessed the environmental impact of more than 57,000 products sold in supermarkets, including many processed foods with multiple ingredients. In addition, the scientists linked this environmental footprint to the nutritional value of foods. They found that products that were more sustainable tended to be more nutritious, including meat alternatives. There were of course also exceptions to this trend such as sugary beverages, which had a low environmental impact but also scored poorly for nutritional quality. “By estimating the environmental impact of food and drink products in a standardised way we have taken a significant first step towards providing information that could enable informed decision-making,” said lead author Dr Michael Clark from the University of Oxford. [+] more ...

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