meat is…food waste

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So putting aside the ethical, health and environmental concerns over meat, another aspect of meat production that is often overlooked is how highly inefficient it is to raise animals for consumption.

Animal agriculture uses over 80% of farmland, but produces only 18% of calories and 37% of protein.

Food waste projects point out that the 7.3 tonnes of food wasted in the UK annually, equating to approx. £13billion, are harmful to the environment because food waste in landfill produces methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more harmful that carbon dioxide, and often emphasize that wasted meat products are inherently more wasteful because of the resources and impacts associated with its production. For example each kilogram of beef wasted represents 50,000 litres of water used in its production. Thus correlating food waste, and especially meat food waste, with unnecessary environmental impacts such as deforestation, water use and pollution associated with the production of that food that was never eaten.

Even when animal-based food is not “wasted”, it creates the same environmental issues and uses the same high levels of resources such as land, water, etc. So why base your diet on something so resource intensive when there are perfectly viable alternatives that don’t have such a negative impact. Why choose the least efficient option which is inherently more wasteful? We would be better off not producing such wasteful products altogether.

This is why I consider meat to be food waste.


And of course as well as the environmental destruction the consequences of this inefficiency is world-wide hunger and poverty , all of which could be reduced with a fairer plant-based food system.

See posts tagged with “#foodwaste“.