How Sustainable Are Alternative Meats

How Sustainable Are Alternative Meats The Alternative Meat Impossible Whopper From Burger King / Drew Angerer via Getty Images

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How sustainable is alternative meat?

What some call 'fake' meat isn't exactly the full story of what Plant-based or alternative meats are. While the production of meat does have harmful environmental effects (still far from the greenhouse emissions from the most polluting corporations in the world); however, companies like Beyond and Impossible are searching for a solution.

The Impossible burger causes only 11% of the greenhouse gas emissions that would come from an equivalent amount of beef burger, according to a study from consulting firm Quantis.

Plant-based meats also used 23% less than beef, 11% of pork, and 23% of chicken for the same level of protein.

So all is good? Depends.

The greenness of plant-based meats depends on the farming practices which underline them, which is also true for meat itself.

Plant-based meats use palm oil grown in plantations that used to be rainforests, or heavily irrigated crops grown in arid regions that cause far more damage than sustainably raised crops.

Unfortunately, this means that more sustainable practices will likely cost consumers more (because...of course). Overall, it does seem alternative meats are a greener option compared to animal meats.

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