Study: Eating Plant-Based Twice a Week Is Equivalent to Planting 14 Billion Trees
Saving the environment could be as easy as shifting your diet to eat more plant-based. Most people worry that switching to an entirely plant-based diet is too difficult, but it doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. For every meal without meat, the environment sees significant benefits.
New data from the German food-tech start-up Greenforce just revealed that if everyone shifted to plant-based foods just two days a week for a year, it would be the equivalent of planting 13.88 billion trees. The environmentally-friendly brand claims that a partial plant-based shift could have an enormous impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Greenforce report analyzes the average greenhouse gas emissions for an average meal eaten by a U.K. citizen and then compared it with the impact of plant-based alternatives. The report concluded that if the entire adult population of the UK went plant-based just two days a week, it could save 291 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. The accessible plant-based game plan presents U.K. citizens with nearly no option, especially for those non-vegans that do not know where to start.
The food tech company released this new information with the help of the company’s ambassador and record-breaking plant-based strongman Patrik Baboumian. The acclaimed strongman joined Greenforce in January to help the brand expand its plant-based meat brand across the United Kingdom.
“The environmental impact of modern, meat-heavy diets is massive,” Baboumian said. “This means we have a great opportunity to make big savings in our carbon footprints, as well as our land and water footprints by altering our food choices. Just by switching a few meals a week to plant-based options, we can make an incredibly positive impact on our climate and help preserve our land, soils, and water systems.”
Greenforce’s new data aims to make plant-based eating more accessible to non-vegans across the United Kingdom. By encouraging people to take part in the fight against the climate crisis, the brand shows that eating 100 percent plant-based is not the only way to make a change.
“When we look at the findings of this analysis, the results are impossible to ignore,” Baboumian continued. “291 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) could be saved from switching just two meals a week, per year, for the average U.K. adult. And that’s just two meals a week! Can you imagine if we can get that number up to four or five a week someday?
“Of course, it gets easier for people to switch if the plant-based meals that are available are tasty, easy-to-make, and healthy. So that’s exactly why we, Greenforce, have put almost a decade of research into creating meals that are not only sustainable but also delicious, practical, and highly nutritional.”
Last year, the United Nations published its IPCC report that detailed the dangers of climate change and rising greenhouse gas emissions. The “code red” report highlighted that a substantial amount of the responsibility fell onto the animal agriculture industry worldwide, noting the importance of plant-based food reform to curb the dangerous levels.
Following the report, the Meat Atlas found that 20 livestock companies produce more greenhouse gases than Britain, Germany, or France. The 76-page exposé revealed the shocking extent of the meat and dairy industries' impact on climate change, deforestation, and rising greenhouse gas levels.
Despite the rising dangers, another study revealed a more optimistic approach to slowing down the worsening environmental conditions. Nature Food conducted a study that found that plant-based diets could slash greenhouse gases by up to 61 percent. The study also explains how the possible carbon sequestration could match the current global agricultural emission, substantially helping curb the harmful effects of the meat and dairy industries.
New meat alternatives
Greenforce just entered the U.K. market to help bring delicious plant-based foods to people. The company’s selection of vegan burgers, meatballs, mince, and sausage use a “powder-to-meat” design that enhances greater sustainability and minimizes energy-intensive production. The brand's pea protein products use 48 times less land and eight times less water than traditional meat and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 113 times. Currently, Greenforce’s selection is available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK.
“The U.K. is an incredibly important market for the plant-based world,” founder Thomas Isermann said in a statement. “The vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian population in the country is growing rapidly, so it’s crucial that we provide healthy, planet-friendly, and tasty food for them. But it’s not just them we are focussing on – we are also focussed on meat-eaters. We have over eight years of research behind us, helping us develop a range of products that should satisfy the taste buds of anyone, whether you’re vegan, veggie, or neither.”
For more news about the planet, visit The Beet's Environment articles.