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!
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org