Our food chain is responsible for more than 20% of our carbon footprint. The amount of animal protein we eat plays an important role in this. Agricultural raw materials often arrive through an “animal-detour” as meat on our plates.
Meat and other livestock products are relatively nutritious since they are a source of protein and other nutrients. Nevertheless, they are not sustainable.
The biggest cause for our food having such a large carbon footprint is the “detour via animals”. The soy for animal feed often comes from areas where primeval forests are cleared every day. The grain for feed requires a lot of agricultural land that is not available for more nutritious crops or nature. Food via animals requires up to 10 times as much raw material to make food for humans. Up to 10 times more land, up to 10 times more transport, up to 10 times more water for the plants. Not to mention the suffering we inflict on animals.
What causes the most CO2 emissions?
CO2 emissions from a Dutch house hold
Source: Milieu Centraal
The current solution for many people lies in meat-substitutes. Products made from plant-based proteins. These are made by processing protein-rich legumes into something resembling meat. While proteins are concentrated, other useful nutrients are disposed of. Although it is a more sustainable solution than meat, special processing is not sustainable and certainly not conducive to nutritional value.
There are more logical solutions. For instance, reducing the empty calories in our diet. Empty calories are mainly the products that contain a lot of starch, sugar and white flour. By eating much more (products with) legumes, seeds, nuts and kernels instead, you can forgo meat-substitutes and don’t have to worry about lack of nutrients.
With plant-based food with lots of legumes, nuts and kernels as a basis, you can easily get to your recommended daily amount of protein per day. Muesli, crackers, bread, pasta, bars – they can all be made from valuable vegetable raw materials. TastyBasics does that.
Fun fact: By eating TastyBasics muesli and plant-based yogurt, you already have a quarter of your protein needs.