What are the impacts of plant-based meat alternatives?

How they compare to real meat and what the future might look like for the meat industry as a whole.

“The greenhouse gas contribution of the food system is a drop in the bucket as compared with burning fossil fuels. The focus should be on reducing that fossil-fuel use, updating our transportation grids and sequestering carbon in soil.”

“We need to keep our eye on that ball and not get distracted by asparagus and green peppers.”

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Back in the summer, the VGS did a posting on ‘sustainable lifestyles’ – and one of the key issues looked at was food:

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Getting to sustainability

Pressure groups tell us that drinking milk, eating animal products in general and using leather creates a huge carbon footprint. Carbon Footprint of Food | Green Eatz but Why the vegan diet is not always green – BBC Future

Yet the medical world claims that lack of nutrients that can only be found in animal fats will lead to long term health problems. Replacing meat with Soya products brings its own problems as Soya contains phyto-oestrogens which mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body, skewing our hormonal system, and with the potential to disrupt the endocrine system. Straight Talk About Soy | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Getting to sustainability – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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Here’s an interesting blog from Chet Daly, who “has a passion for meat”

blog | seriouslysmoked.com

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Although more accurately, it’s more a passion for the bbq, as earlier in the summer, he posted a piece about alternatives to the steak. It’s a very thorough piece, with lots of research and recipes:

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The Complete Guide to Plant-Based Meats & Meat Alternatives

Plant based meat is seeing significant growth around the world as more and more people are looking to limit their meat consumption. In fact, there has been a 26% rise in sales totaling $800 million in revenue over the past year alone. 

But how do plant based meats compare to the real thing and what does the future hold for the big players like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods? In this post, we’ll look at plant based meat alternatives, how they compare to real meat, and what the future might look like for the meat industry as a whole. 

The Complete Guide to Plant-Based Meats & Meat Alternatives |

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However, as well as the potential hormonal issues posted above, there are other issues around ‘plant-based meats’:

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Why the vegan diet is not always green

The vegan diet is widely regarded to be better for the planet than those that include animal products, but not all plant-based foodstuffs have a small environmental footprint…

Why the vegan diet is not always green – BBC Future

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The Promise and Problem of Fake Meat

It could help improve public health and reduce climate change. But questions remain about the highly processed food—and some producers’ coziness with the “real meat” industry…

The Promise and Problem of Fake Meat | The New Republic

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Plant-based meat myths, debunked

There have been many critiques leveled at plant-based foods. They all boil down to four broad criticisms: 1) they are highly processed; 2) they contain GMOs; 3) they’re not that healthy — or even hazardous to your health; and 4) they’re aesthetically objectionable as “fake” food…

The backlash against Impossible and Beyond Meat burgers going mainstream – Vox

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Ultimately, though, changing your diet will not ‘solve’ the climate/environment crisis:

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These Plants Can Replace Meat—but Will Doing So Help the Environment?

Moving away from meat would reduce fertilizer use, cropland and carbon dioxide emissions. Yet it alone will not save the planet

The authors of the new study do acknowledge that one of the environmental downsides to their proposed shift away from meat is that food-related water use would actually increase 15 percent. Moreover, although the change would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it would only do so by 6 percent. “It won’t buy you a get-out-of-jail solution to climate change,” Eshel says. Matlock agrees, pointing out that the greenhouse gas contribution of the food system is a drop in the bucket as compared with burning fossil fuels. The focus, he says, should be on reducing that fossil-fuel use, updating our transportation grids and sequestering carbon in soil. “We need to keep our eye on that ball,” he adds, “and not get distracted by asparagus and green peppers.”

These Plants Can Replace Meat–but Will Doing So Help the Environment? – Scientific American

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photo: File: Veggie burger miikkahoo flickr creative commons.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

   
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