a plate with a steak takes center stage, representing the connection between meat consumption and environmental degradation Generative AI

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European Environment Agency Urges Plant-Based Transition to Avoid Catastrophic Effects of Climate Change

A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) has underlined the importance of a shift towards plant-based foods to address climate change. The European Climate Risk Assessment report notes that the Farm to Fork Strategy and international dietary guidelines call for reduced animal product consumption and a shift towards plant-based diets. The authors find that this would reduce freshwater consumption and dependency on imported animal feed, while achieving healthier dietary patterns. Reducing animal product consumption would also free up a substantial quantity of cereal crops for human consumption. This is notable and significant since plentiful research suggests that climate change will negatively impact food security. The report finds a high probability that climate change will have substantial, critical, or catastrophic impacts on livestock rearing, …

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Albert Heijn launches AH Terra, an own-label plant-based line with 200 products

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Albert Heijn Reveals 44.1% of Proteins Sold in 2023 Were Plant-Based

In a new sustainability report, Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn has revealed that 44.1% of the proteins it sold last year were plant-based. This figure is up from 42.6% in 2022. The increase is partially due to the launch of Albert Heijn’s own-brand plant-based range, AH Terra, which is claimed to be the largest offered by any Dutch supermarket. It features over 200 products, including meat and dairy alternatives, snacks, and appetisers. The retailer is now aiming for 50% of the proteins it sells to be plant-based by 2025, and 60% by 2030 — a goal which is claimed to be more ambitious than those set by the Paris Agreement and the Dutch government. To help achieve this, Albert Heijn will expand AH Terra with …

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Danish Crown admits to misleading consumers

Image courtesy of the Vegetarian Society of Denmark.

Danish Crown Admits to Misleading Consumers by Claiming Pork is Climate-Friendly

Europe’s largest pork producer, Danish Crown, has admitted that it misled consumers by claiming that “Danish pork is more climate-friendly than you think”. The news comes after the Vegetarian Society of Denmark and the Climate Movement Association brought a case against Danish Crown for making unsubstantiated claims about the sustainability of its products. Last month, the Western High Court convicted Danish Crown of greenwashing for using the phrase “Climate-controlled pig”, but disagreed that some of the company’s other climate claims were misleading. Convinced that the claims did constitute greenwashing, The Vegetarian Society of Denmark and the Climate Movement Association chose to appeal. However, on April 12 Danish Crown contacted the Supreme Court to admit that it had misled consumers, just a few days after the …

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Vegan Whole Cut Steak

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Study Finds Plant-Based Beef Significantly More Sustainable Than Traditional Beef

A research team from Macquarie University in Australia has conducted a comparative study analyzing papers from various countries on the sustainability and nutrition of beef versus plant-based beef, revealing some interesting results. Plant-based beef was found to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions, with reductions ranging from 86% to 97% in various studies. Plant-based beef also requires less land, estimated to be less than 5%.  “Roughly 75 % of global agricultural land is for animal production while animal-based foods provide only 18 % human calories and 25 % protein in global good supply,” states the paper. The new research also shows that plant-based beef, particularly burgers, generally have lower energy and saturated fat content but lower levels of protein compared to beef. Emission sources Cattle contribute to emissions primarily …

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Willicroft dairy alternatives

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Willicroft Dairy Alternatives Produce Up to 25X Fewer Emissions Than Conventional Dairy

Dutch dairy alternatives producer Willicroft has published a product emissions report comparing the environmental impact of its plant-based cheeses and butter to equivalent dairy products. The results take into account agricultural processes, production, packaging, transportation, and end-of-life for packaging. They show that Willicroft cheeses produce up to 25 times fewer carbon emissions than their dairy equivalents; for example, Willicroft Greek White generates just 1.26 kg of CO2 equivalent per kilogram, while traditional feta produces 34.1 kg. The brand’s butter alternative, Original Better, produces 2.48 kg CO2-eq/kg, compared to 16.9 kg for dairy butter. Furthermore, many of the products have lower emissions than dairy alternatives made by other plant-based brands. Original Better outperforms an Upfield butter alternative, and is roughly on par with Naturli’s organic spread. …

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Bezos Earth Fund to establish Centers for Sustainable Protein

© Rocío Lower/Bezos Earth Fund

Bezos Earth Fund Commits $60M to Establish Centers for Sustainable Protein

The Bezos Earth Fund, launched in 2020 by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has pledged $60 million to establish several Bezos Centers for Sustainable Protein. The Centers will address technological challenges facing the alternative protein industry, with the aim of reducing costs, increasing nutritional benefits, and improving quality. The latter may involve enhancing flavor and texture through cell biology and engineering innovations, according to a media alert from the organization. The announcement was made at Aspen Ideas: Climate by Lauren Sánchez, Vice Chair of the Bezos Earth Fund and Jeff Bezos’ fiancée. She said technological innovations would be necessary to find solutions for climate change. The investment is part of the Bezos Earth Fund’s $1 billion commitment to improving the sustainability of the food system, which …

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Alt Protein Careers

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Alt Protein Careers Launches Resources for Professionals Following Increase in “Climate Quitting”

According to career services and recruiting firm Alt Protein Careers, there has been a significant increase in the number of workers who are “climate quitting” — leaving their jobs to find positions where they can make a meaningful positive impact on the planet. The phenomenon is said to be particularly prevalent among younger demographics, with KPMG figures indicating that a third of 18-24-year-olds have turned down job offers due to a company’s ESG performance. Furthermore, research commissioned by Paul Polman (the former CEO of Unilever) indicates that 76% of job-seekers want to work for companies that have a positive impact, while over a third have left a job that was not aligned with their values. Working in alt proteins While many professionals are opting for …

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TIME GreenTech Companies 2024

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TIME’s Top GreenTech Companies of 2024 Recognizes The Better Meat Co., Rebellyous Foods, Prime Roots & More

TIME Magazine together with Statista, a leading statistics portal, recently unveiled America’s Top GreenTech Companies in 2024, recognizing 250 firms leading the charge in sustainability and environmental stewardship. Among these, FoodTech companies have a notable presence, with a total of 19 making the list, showcasing their pivotal role in advancing green technologies within the food industry. This high profile list is the result of an in-depth analysis aimed at identifying companies that are not only financially robust but also innovatively reducing their environmental impact. Statista’s methodology included a comprehensive review of various data points. Key metrics such as the value of a company’s intellectual property portfolio, revenue, funding, and industry-specific environmental contributions like carbon capture, use of renewable energy, and efforts to offset carbon emissions …

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Sea&Believe

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Ireland Announces €9M Funding Initiative to Develop an All-Island Bioeconomy

Ministers from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have announced a €9 million funding initiative supporting bioeconomy innovation and solutions. Called the Shared Island Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative, the funding will be available to applicants across the island of Ireland. The bioeconomy is defined as “sectors that conserve, use, process, distribute or consume biological resources from land and sea including agriculture, horticulture, forestry, food processing, construction, packaging, chemicals and organic waste sectors and land and marine ecosystems”. The initiative aims to support projects that use biomass produced in land and marine areas to develop higher added value biobased products and solutions with demonstrable sustainability benefits. This will help to meet a key objective of Ireland’s Bioeconomy Action Plan 2023-2025, which involves launching pilot demonstration facilities …

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Earth Pass

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Introducing Earth Pass: A Digital Platform Bridging the Gap Between Eco-Conscious Consumers and Vegan Businesses

In a recent development within the sustainable consumer goods sector, Earth Pass has launched a digital platform dedicated to connecting consumers with plant-based and environmentally conscious brands. Established by Noah Hyams, the founder of VEGPRENEUR, and Cara Scovazzo, the founder of Mod.Eats plant-based consulting, this platform offers a text-based service that delivers weekly discounts on products from 100% plant-based brands, providing an avenue for vegan startups to increase awareness and make their products more accessible.  Among the brands currently featured on Earth Pass are Moku Foods, Petaluma, and All Y’alls Foods. The platform offers discounts ranging from free products to 50% off in various categories, including food, fashion, wellness, and beauty, and is planning to expand its offerings by introducing in-store incentives and subscription services …

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Los Angeles

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Los Angeles County Implements Plant-Based Food Policy to Tackle Environmental and Health Concerns

Los Angeles County has enacted a new plant-based policy addressing environmental, public health, and animal welfare concerns. The legislation, initiated by supervisors Lindsey Horvath and Hilda L. Solis, mandates a comprehensive shift towards plant-based food in the county’s food service provider contracts. Mercy For Animals worked closely with Horvath’s office to develop the policy, which encompasses Health Services, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works departments and includes updates to nutritional standards, recommendations for plant-based procurement, and tracking greenhouse gas emissions. Leah Garces, president at Mercy for Animals, announced the development on social media:  “We at MFA call for enactment and enforcement of animal protection laws and a shift to a plant-based food system. As more Americans choose plant-based food for health, environmental protection, and animal …

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Plant-based diets can free up land for bioenergy and carbon capture

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Plant-Based Diets Could Free Up Enough Land for Bioenergy and Carbon Capture

A study by researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands has calculated that if the world transitioned to a more plant-based diet, enough land could be freed up to make Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) a viable option. Bioenergy (using crops to generate energy) has long been considered a way to address climate change, since crops take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere when they grow. It has been suggested that when the crops are used to produce energy, the resulting carbon dioxide could be permanently stored underground; in this way, the process of generating energy could actually reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, bioenergy has been criticized as it requires large areas of land and a lot of …

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Hungry Planet crab cakes

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Hungry Planet Among 65 Global Plant-Based Organizations Nominated for Earthshot Prize

Hungry Planet Foods announces that it has officially been nominated for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, a global initiative that seeks to discover, celebrate, and scale innovative solutions that address the planet’s biggest environmental challenges by 2030.  The company creates plant-based meat alternatives, such as beef, chicken, pork, and crab, using ingredients like textured wheat protein, soy protein, and other plant ingredients. Hungry Planet states that its products are now served at thousands of food service venues across the US, including fine dining, fast casual, universities, and hospitals, along with various retail outlets and online via PlantX. Through its philanthropic arm, the company has also helped provide over 1 million meals to school children K-12. The Earthshot Prize, established in 2020 by Prince William and The …

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Study: Meat & Dairy Alternatives Have Similar Environmental Benefits to Whole Plant Foods

A study published in the journal Nature Communications has examined the environmental impact of replacing animal-source foods (ASFs) with plant-based alternatives (PBAs) or whole plant foods (WFs). Using Sweden as a model, the study found that diets rich in PBAs could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30–52%, land use by 20–45%, and freshwater use by 14–27%. The greatest benefits were seen with fully vegan diets. When ASFs were replaced with WFs instead of PBAs, the benefits were comparable. The researchers note that a diet rich in PBAs meets most of the updated Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, which were published last year and recommend a mostly plant-based diet. Eating PBAs enhances iron, magnesium, folate, and fiber intake, while decreasing saturated fat consumption. However, three nutrients — vitamin …

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amsterdam

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Amsterdam Becomes First EU Capital to Endorse Global Plant Based Treaty

Amsterdam has become the first capital city in the EU to endorse calls for a global Plant Based Treaty, which proposes addressing the impact of the food system on climate change by shifting towards a more plant-based diet. In a statement, the City of Amsterdam Council acknowledged that the food system has “a significant impact on the health of people and animals and contributes to the climate crisis”. It has set out plans to shift the protein ratio in the city’s diet from 40 to 60 percent plant-based by 2030, saying that the municipality “takes responsibility to drive changes in the food system, ensuring that all residents of Amsterdam have access to healthy, fair, sustainable, and affordable food and drinks”. The council has also adopted …

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Two brown cows/ cattle

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EU Climate Advisers Recommend Shifting Subsidies Away From Animal Ag & Encouraging Plant-Based Diets

The European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change has released a report outlining several recommendations for addressing the climate crisis, including shifting subsidies away from animal agriculture. The authors say that the common agricultural policy (CAP) “should be better aligned with EU goals”. This could include “shifting CAP support away from emission-intensive agricultural practices, including livestock production”, instead prioritising lower-emissions products and other environmental policies. Furthermore, the report recommends measures to “encourage healthier, more plant-based diets”, along with other strategies to aid the transition towards a climate-neutral food system. For example, emissions pricing should be extended to the agricultural and food sectors, making high-emission foods more expensive and therefore discouraging their purchase. Other agricultural recommendations include a standalone emissions reduction objective and practices that reduce …

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Flora plant butter with paper packaging

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Upfield Introduces “World’s First” Plastic-Free, Recyclable Tub for Plant Butters & Spreads

Upfield, owner of multiple brands of butters and spreads such as Flora, has revealed what it claims to be the world’s first plastic-free, recyclable tub for its plant butters and spreads, stating that the move marks the beginning of its transition to a paper solution across its portfolio, as part of its ambition to reduce plastic content by 80% by 2030. The Amsterdam-based group says that the development is the result of four years of innovation in collaboration with Footprint, MCC and Pagès Group. The paper tubs are made from compressed wet paper fibres and are waterproof, oil-proof, and recyclable in local paper waste streams, according to the company. “Innovating out plastic tubs was our moon-shot” David Haines, Group CEO for Upfield, commented, “As a …

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QuornPro staff at Biohub

QuornPro's staff at Biohub - Image courtesy of Biohub at Ings Farm

UK’s Biohub Regenerative Farm Celebrates First Year with Continued Support from QuornPro and Levy UK

UK’s Biohub at Ings Farm, a regenerative farm in North Yorkshire that educates chefs and farmers on sustainable farming practices, is marking its 1st anniversary with long-term support commitments from sponsors QuornPro (previously Quorn Professionals), the food service division of the meat-free brand, and Levy UK + Ireland, leading sports and entertainment caterers. In the last 12 months, over 800 people have visited the farm and participated in regenerative farming activities designed, developed, and showcased on a 92-acre plot intentionally left ungrazed to recover the soil’s fertility, explained the Biohub in a statement. The Biohub has been developed by RegenFarmCo, a specialist regenerative agriculture consultancy founded by Vincent Walsh, supported by Yorkshire Water, the second-largest landowner in Yorkshire. Regenerative interventions QuornPro has used the farm to educate and …

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Beyond Burger

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Beyond Meat Unveils Reports Highlighting Huge Environmental Benefits of Beyond Burger 3.0 Over Animal Beef Patties

Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND) has released its 2022 ESG Report and an updated environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of the latest version of its Beyond Burger 3.0., which launched for the first time in April 2021. The LCA results show that a quarter-pound Beyond Burger 3.0  patty compared to an 80/20 quarter-pound US beef patty, generates 90% less GHG emissions and requires 37% less non-renewable energy, 97% less land, and 97% less water consumption. The study focused on four key impact categories: global warming impact, fossil resources (non-renewable energy) use, land use, and water consumption, and was calculated based on product ingredients and production data from 2022. As explained by the brand, it was conducted in collaboration with Blonk Consultants, leading experts in food system sustainability, adhering to …

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herd of cows eating hay in cowshed on dairy farm

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US Congressman Accuses UN of “Anti-Beef Strategy” Amid Warnings of Climate Diet Denial Post COP28

Following the commitments made at COP28 to reduce agricultural emissions, food awareness organization ProVeg International has warned of a new phenomenon — climate diet denial. One of the outcomes of COP28 was the publication of the FAO’s Roadmap to 1.5°C, which calls for measures that would decrease meat consumption. The report prompted US Congressman Mike Flood to issue a statement complaining that the United Nations has adopted an “anti-beef strategy”; he subsequently introduced a Resolution into Congress opposing the allocation of any Federal funds towards initiatives that would reduce meat consumption. According to ProVeg, this is an example of climate diet denial. While climate change denial involves claiming that human activity is not contributing to rising temperatures, climate diet denial means refusing to acknowledge the …

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