The impact of eating habits on the environment
The report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) entitled, ‘Livestock’s long shadow: environmental issues and options‘, highlighted that 18% of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions originate from the livestock sector. This is as high as the GHG emissions from the transport sector. This was one of the first publications indicating the impact of the livestock sector on GHG emissions. Since then, many other studies have confirmed these findings.
Climate change is not the only environmental consequence of livestock rearing. It is estimated that ~75% of agricultural land is currently used for rearing animals, be it in the form of pastures or land for growing crops to feed animals. As demand for food will keep on rising in the future, it is projected we would need two planets to meet worldwide demand by 2030.
Producing soy foods requires considerably less land and water and emits less CO2 than similar products of animal origin. For example, 1 litre of soy drink requires three times less land, 2.5 times less water and emits 5 times less CO2 than 1 litre of cow’s milk. 1 soy burger even requires 45 times less land, 20 times less water and emits 10 times less C02 than one beef burger. That’s a big difference!
Comparison of CO2-eq emissions, land and water use between soy drink and cow milk
Comparison of CO2-eq emissions, land and water use between soy meat varriations and beef