Capitalism tells us that we have 8 years to save the planet from becoming inhabitable. The UK just recorded their highest, most impossible temperature yesterday which is record-breaking news. Are you scared and concerned yet? All of us can do our part, starting from the little things. For instance, what we eat and what we don’t.
Stay with us as we explain how a reduced consumption of red meat can save the world (partially) and its alternatives.
What Does Red Meat Do?
Each beef patty you consume brings with it a whole process of deforestation, over-grazing and production of greenhouse gases. Our consumption right now of it is totally uncontrolled. As a result, each year over 10m hectares of land are deforested most of which is rainforest land. Deforestation is one of the biggest destabilizers of the planet. It leads to climate imbalances, desertification and water scarcity and greenhouse gas emissions.
Besides this, it also leads to flooding, erosion, and the destruction of biodiversity, including crucial crop pollinators.
What Can Reduced Consumption Do?
Climate scientists at an institute have predicted that by reducing our meat consumption by only 20% will have amazing consequences. It could reduce deforestation by more than half by 2050. For each individual, this means we all have just to reduce 1/5th of our consumption. Deforestation could then be scaled by 56%. The greater reduction would obviously result in greater mitigation efforts.
The alternatives to red meat is not chicken. It’s microbial proteins. Microbial protein is a low-calorie, high-protein and high-fiber fermented product. It’s derived from fungi and algae. What makes them a better alternative? It’s because microbial foods dramatically outperform “cultivation of staple crops in terms of caloric and protein yields per land area”.
Moreover, the science also suggests that these mushroom-adjacent proteins could play an instrumental role in addressing global issues. For one, they could address the challenges of climate change and food security as the population grows to the projected 9.7 billion people by 2050.
Who Promises What?
However, an important factor to consider is who promises what. Consider for example that people start reducing their red meat consumption one by one, slowly. Would that give the right signal to the livestock grazers and big corporations undertaking deforestation?
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