Saturday, February 13, 2010

World Wildlife Fund Finds Tofu Worse Than Mutton

A study done by The Cranfield University and commission by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that eating British-bred beef and lamb was better environmentally than eating meat substitutes imported from abroad, such as tofu and Quorn.

The reason: Production methods for meat substitutes are often energy intensive, highly processed, and often shipped great distances. The result is that meat substitutes often result in increased land under cultivation, raising the risk of deforestation.

The researchers concluded: ‘A switch from beef and milk to highly refined livestock product analogues such as tofu could actually increase the quantity of arable land needed to supply the UK.

As The Lonon Times noted "The findings undermine claims by vegetarians that giving up meat automatically results in lower emissions and that less land is needed to produce food."

Of course the best diet (for both the person and the planet) is both local, seasonal, and not very processed, and while it includes some meat (especially chicken), it is heavy on local cereals, tomatoes, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains.


YesBiscuit! said...

That's interesting since most of the cited studies are terribly lopsided in favor of eating soy. I never thought about the import idea. Maybe UK doesn't grow as much soy as we do in the States, proportionally?

panavia999 said...

Another interesting post! Another example of how people don't think through an issue when they want to feel good about their good intentions. For YesBiscuit, One of the reasons that Mad Cow disease has been a problem in the UK is because they do not have access to a cheap source of soybean feed like we do in the Americas. So they fed animal byproducts to the cattle instead with tragic results. The UK/European summer climate is too cool for industrial soybean production.