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What is better environmentally: veganism or eating locally/seasonally?

(14 Posts)
GreeboIsMySpiritAnimal Sun 13-Jan-19 14:29:05

Just that really. I'm considering going vegan for the sake of the planet (which would be a huge step for me as I love meat and dairy) but I read (on here I think) that a lot of vegan products have a huge carbon footprint and contain palm oil and eating local, in season produce is better for the planet. I'm not sure if I just like that idea because it means I can still have cheese though!

Any thoughts?

SonEtLumiere Sun 13-Jan-19 14:31:36

Super interested in this too and would love some sources to understand people’s “calculations”.

RosemaryRusset Thu 17-Jan-19 19:49:28

A lot of "products" as opposed to basic foods do have a bigger footprint, and lots of non-vegan foods also have palm oil in too, so I think that's a bit of a red herring. Vegan food cooked from scratch has a much lower footprint than either a vegan diet with lots of processed food, or a meat based diet.

If you don't want to stop eating meat or dairy (and it sounds like you don't!) maybe just have it as a treat and buy local/pasture fed beef and dairy? Non pasture fed animals are often eating soya etc grown in Brazil on cleared Amazon forest land - although the animals are local, the impact is much wider.

LinoleumBlownapart Fri 18-Jan-19 23:18:07

Only eat locally sourced food. Add to that, locally produced food that actually grows in its natural ecosystem. So having year round avocados would be suspicious, as avocados only fruit for about 3 months and don't come from for example, Cornwall. Be aware of where your pulses are grown and come from. Eating pulses is healthy but the carbon footprint of lentils grown, packaged and flown from Asia will outweigh the benefits and it would be better to have locally grown garden peas.

GreeboIsMySpiritAnimal Mon 21-Jan-19 21:29:43

Well, I'm trying a combination. Of a reduction in meat and dairy products and an increase in local, seasonal produce. It's a start at least.

I've discovered almond milk is a lot nastier than it sounds though. envy

LadyGrey66 Mon 21-Jan-19 21:34:56

www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2015/oct/21/almond-milk-quite-good-for-you-very-bad-for-the-planet

LadyGrey66 Mon 21-Jan-19 21:35:25

Stay away from the almond milk Op!

GreeboIsMySpiritAnimal Mon 21-Jan-19 22:29:00

Well thankfully that won't be a problem! smile

WalnutToast Mon 21-Jan-19 22:39:56

It seems pretty clear veganism is kindest to the planet. Reducing red meat in particular seems very important for reducing carbon emissions. A recent big study - see below - says that plant-based is pretty much always better than animal-based food.

I guess eating local produce is good too, but overall its harder to assess.

The BBC link below suggests almond milk is still a lot better than dairy milk, though not as good as rice milk.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46459714

www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46459714

www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

edition.cnn.com/2018/10/18/health/plant-based-diet-climate-change-food-drayer/index.html

WalnutToast Mon 21-Jan-19 22:40:41

Sorry, meant to say oat milk, not rice milk.

WalnutToast Mon 21-Jan-19 22:46:19

Also if you don't want to go fully Vegan this diet has been proposed recently to optimise health and hopefully save the planet:

www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/16/new-plant-focused-diet-would-transform-planets-future-say-scientists

cushioncovers Sun 27-Jan-19 13:31:42

Oat milk has the lowest footprint I believe. It's what we use.

squelchyeye Sat 02-Feb-19 20:33:21

Oat milk is lovely. Avocados are unethical apparently as they are so in demand Mexican gangs are murdering farmers over them.

TimRoot Sun 10-Feb-19 11:21:38

You are invited to Friends of the Earth's campaign planning meeting with Chris Saltmarsh of the national student campaign People and Planet, this coming Wednesday

13 February 7.30 at
Friends Meeting House
77 Church Crescent
Muswell Hill N10 3NE
43 or 134 bus from Archway/Highgate, or from Friern Barnet

Chris has a good article in The Ecologist about People and Planet’s climate campaign asking Barclays to switch its investments away from harmful fossil fuels. He has also recently written about the school climate strikes, inspired by the remarkable Swedish sixteen year-old Greta Thunberg: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzeekxtyFOY

We urgently need progress to reduce the severity of climate breakdown.
Among the other issues we will discuss on Wednesday are

a proposal for a campaign against single use coffee cups, and for cafes to refill water bottles (to be considered in the light of the plans of Plastic-free Haringey).

Tim Root
Co-ordinator, Muswell Hill & Hornsey Friends of the Earth
tim@timroot.net

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