Why Plant Based?
As a planet, the single biggest environmental risk we are currently facing is global warming. Greenhouse gasses or CO2 emissions are the largest contributor to this climate change.
It is now unquestionable that moving to a plant based diet is one of the single biggest ways to reduce our environmental impact on the planet. In fact a recent study from Oxford University has found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individuals carbon footprint from food by up to 73%.
If you take a snapshot of a food products total carbon footprint, it is the agricultural/horticultural element (ie growing the plant or raising the animal and associated farming practices) which has the biggest impact on our environment, typically contributing over 50% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, a recent study found that between 71% and 96% of the total greenhouse gas emissions from the production of dairy based yoghurt comes from the agricultural portion of the dairy milk ("Using Life Cycle Assessment to Assess Yoghurt Production" Belo, Sara, et al). In general food processing is the next most significant contributor and, surprisingly, only the small remaining portion comes from the packaging itself.
Whether products are plant based or animal based, the agricultural/horticultural element still accounts for the largest proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. However, the carbon emissions produced in the growing of plant based products is significantly less than the equivalent for animal based products. For example, a recent study shows, producing 1 Litre of cows milk generates 1.67kg CO2 Equivalent. Producing 1 Litre of Almond Milk generates 0.36kg CO2E Equivalent (“Almond Milk vs. Cow Milk Life Cycle Assessment” J. Ho, I. Maradiaga, J. Martin, H. Nguyen, L. Trinh. June 2, 2016.) That’s 78% less!
Of course, it is not nearly as one dimensional or simple as this, and there are other important factors in regards to environmental footprint of a product. However, by choosing to be plant based, we are helping reduce the impact our food products have on the environment and creating a more sustainable future. It’s a step in the right direction and we would love for you to join us.