Plant-Based Meat Better For Your Health and Environment than Animal Products

Published on: 01 August 2022
by KnowESG
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A study found that eating plant-based foods instead of animal products is better for the environment and people's health.

The study, which was published in the journal Future Foods, said that because these foods are "specifically formulated to replicate the taste, texture, and overall eating experience of animal products," they are a much better way to reduce demand for meat and dairy than just telling people to cook vegetarian whole foods.

Psychologists at the University of Bath in the UK carried out the study. They found that plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy "offer a healthier and more environmentally sustainable solution that takes into account consumer preferences and behaviour."

Dr Chris Bryant from the university said: 

"Increasingly we're seeing how plant-based products can shift demand away from animal products by appealing to three essential elements consumers want: taste, price and convenience."

The team looked at 43 studies about the effects of plant-based foods on health, the environment, and how people feel about them. One study found that almost 90% of people who ate meat and dairy made from plants were actually meat eaters.

The paper also found that these plant-based products put out less greenhouse gas than the animal products they were replacing.

One study found that plant-based burgers were linked to up to 98% less greenhouse gas emissions than beef burgers.

The team said that, in general, plant-based products need much less land for farming, less water, and less pollution than animal products.

Studies that looked at how healthy plant-based products were also found that they tend to have better nutritional profiles than animal products. For example, one paper found that 40% of traditional meat products were rated as "less healthy," while only 14% of plant-based alternatives were rated the same way.

Others found that plant-based versions of meat and dairy were good for losing weight, building muscle, and helping people with health problems.

Producers of plant-based foods might be able to add things like edible fungi, microalgae, or spirulina to boost their amino acids, vitamins B and E, and antioxidants. Changes in how food is made and what goes into it in the future are likely to lead to more nutritional improvements.

Source: Business Standard

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