Last week, Lee Cross wrote a letter (to the editor) urging families to stop buying meat to save the planet from climate change. The author suggested plant-based fake meat was a better option. Choking down ultra-processed meat alternatives won’t save the planet — and it could be bad for your health.
Eliminating meat one day per week would make no meaningful difference in total emissions in the U.S. Livestock, including all the animals that are not consumed, are responsible for roughly 5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions according to the EPA. The University of Florida found families would save more emissions by adjusting their home’s thermostat or observing the speed limit to waste less gas.
Some people think the term “plant-based” means meat alternatives are healthier. This is deceptive marketing. While meat is filled with proteins and vitamins, faux meat burgers are ultra-processed and filled with questionable additives.
The USDA notes that 30-40 percent of food is wasted. To help the environment, eat what you want — just make sure not to waste it.