WHY CHOOSE A PLANT BASED MENU AT THE CAFETERIA?
Numerous reports have been published by the UN as well as other sources have proved the detrimental effect of livestock production on the environment.
- Overall, livestock activities contribute an estimated 18% to total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions from the five major sectors for greenhouse gas reporting: energy, industry, waste, land use change and forestry and agriculture (Livestock’s Long Shadow, 2006, FAO)
- “Eating less meat and dairy products makes for more efficient food production. Meat takes more energy because it takes longer to produce, and animals are inefficient converters of grain. They need to be fed on farmed plant products which could feed many more people directly. Manure releases methane, and so do ruminants like cows, as the food ferments in their stomachs. That is why becoming a vegetarian will not help if you simply replace animal proteins with dairy product. Dairy cows produce over twice as much methane as beef cattle.” (Kick the Habit – A UN Guide to Climate Neutrality (UNEP))
- It takes 1 000-3 000 litres of water to produce just one kilo of rice and 13 000 to 15 000 litres to produce one kilo of grain-fed beef (FAO)
The main sources of GHGs from animal agriculture are:
- Deforestation of the rainforests to grow feed for livestock.
- Methane from manure waste. – Methane is 72 times more potent as a global warming gas than CO2
- Refrigeration and transport of meat around the world.
- Raising, processing and slaughtering of the animal.
Yearly carbon dioxide emission per capita
of a person who regularly eats meat, fish, diary and eggs: 2.19 tonnes
of a person who is on a vegetarian diet (eats diary and eggs): 1.22 tonnes
of a person who follows a 100 % plant-based (vegan) diet: 0.19 tonnes
Thus, you can reduce your carbon footprint significantly just by choosing to eat a 100% plant-based menu for lunch. Choosing local, seasonal and organic food products can further reduce your carbon footprint
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A PLANT-BASED MEAL?
- Less environmental damage in the production
- Cheaper than animal products
- Energy reduction: it takes 15 pounds of grain or soy to produce 1 kg of meat. Thus all the fiber, and 80-96 percent of protein is lost in the process of meat production. This is not the case, when eating the grains directly.
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
- Suitable for people with lactose intolerance
- Suitable for people of most religious background (buddhist, muslim, hindu, etc.)
- Suitable for people who would like to eat more healthily
- Demonstrates how much the cafeteria/organization cares about the environment, thus it is a good marketing point
- Great for the customers, who can do something to reduce their daily carbon footprint just by making their food choice for lunch.
- It can be made as delicious as the animal protein based versions
BUT WHERE DO I GET MY PROTEIN IF I DON’T EAT MEAT/DIARY/EGGS?
Very good protein sources are:
Beans, lentils, TVP (textured vegetable protein), peas, grains, amarant, millet, quinoa, oats…