Plant versus Animal-based Diets – You can help save the planet!

At Macacha we believe in supporting a healthy lifestyle and overall wellness with a plant-based diet. But that’s not the only reason to consider switching from an animal-based to a plant based-diet. It is also far more sustainable and healthy for the environment. In fact, when our founder, Inés, asked a certain sustainability expert the question, ‘What is the number one thing someone can do to keep the planet healthy and sustainable?’ his response was, ‘The number one thing is to go vegetarian.’ (Check out the video clip to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth!). This expert, Pooran Desai OBE, is the co-founder of BioRegional, an international environmental network operating in Europe, North America, Central America, Africa and Australasia. Pooran studied at Oxford and Cambridge and heads up BioRegional’s One Planet Communities programme working with developers to create the earth’s greenest neighbourhoods. Who are we to argue with an expert like that?!

But really, you can make a serious difference in the health of the planet by just changing your eating habits slightly. There are a few statistics that we would like to direct your attention to regarding the environmental impacts of the foods we eat:

  • World meat consumption more than doubled between 1950 and 2009 (increasing the annual meat intake per person to over 90 pounds). Global consumption of eggs and milk has followed a similar pattern. At this rate, by 2050 we’ll be eating two thirds more animal protein globally than we are today (source: http://grist.org/).
  • Animal protein is far more resource intensive (water in particular) to produce than fruits, vegetables, and grains (source: http://grist.org/).
  • The life cycle of most animal-protein starts with acres of mono-cropped soybeans, corn, and wheat  – these are grown with pesticides and nitrogen-heavy fertilizers that endanger our water sources (source: http://grist.org/).
  • Roughly 35% of the world grain harvest is used to produce animal protein (source: http://grist.org/).
  • Animal waste releases nitrous dioxide and methane and pollutes our water and air, especially when it is concentrated. Manure is the fastest growing major source of methane, up 60% from 1990 to 2008 (source: http://www.ewg.org/).
  • According to a study of British diets, meat-rich diets, defined as more than 100 g per day,  resulted in 7.2 kg of carbon dioxide emissions per day. In contrast, both vegetarian and fish-eating diets caused about 3.8 kg of CO2 per day, while vegan diets produced only 2.9 kg (source: https://www.theguardian.com).

This is just a small taster of the staggering statistics that point to plant-based diets as the healthier choice for the planet. But we think you get the point. Every little bit helps, and just cutting out one meal a day or one day a week of animal-based can make a real impact. So give Macacha a try! Cut out that animal-based whey protein and take plant-based for a spin! We hope you’ll love it!

Check out these links for more (super interesting!) information on this topic:

The Guardian – Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert

Grist – Deep impact: The toll your protein takes on the Earth

Environmental Working Group – Meat Eaters Guide

Pooran Desai – Biography