Can eating Beyond Meat help save the planet?


Looking to be more environmentally friendly? Can eating Beyond Meat, plant-based protein, really help save the planet?

Beyond Meat, the plant-based protein, released a very interesting study today. After being named 2018 Champion of the Earth by the United Nations, the brand released an environmental impact study. In this report, the study compared a Beyond Meat burger versus a traditional beef burger. The results are quite astonishing.

According to the brand, it is estimated that Americans eat 50 billion burgers a year. That number is quite astonishing. If even a small percentage of Americans replaced a beef burger with a Beyond Meat burger could have a big impact.

The study compared the production of “a ¼ lb. U.S. beef burger to producing a ¼ lb. Beyond Burger.” Creating the plant-based protein requires “99% less water, 93% less land, 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and nearly 50% less energy.” These numbers are quite impressive.

Beyond Meat, photo provided by Beyond Meat

People often debate the plant-based protein versus beef issue. Usually this issue revolves around taste, texture and satisfaction. Even though you can tell the difference between the two products, both can be quite satisfying. Instead of being a taste, texture or even satisfaction issue, adding more plant-base protein into a diet can help the environment, at least according to this study.

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While some vegans have long proposed the ideas that methane gases from cows are an environmental issue, those comments are difficult to quantify. This particular study makes the impact more tangible, more quantifiable and more understandable to a skeptical public.

The specific percentages look at the means needed to farm cattle. With water scarcity growing and arid land disappearing, food alternatives are becoming a necessary part of the food landscape. When a company can create a food that satisfies yet is environmentally conscious, people should listen.

As consumers become more aware of food waste, it makes sense that consumers would start looking at food’s impact on the environment. Companies need to become more aware of production, packaging and delivery. Society can no longer blindly go on with business as usual.

Will this environmental impact study mean that beef burgers will disappear from store shelves? No, not by a long shot. But, this study can start a conversation with consumers. Maybe if one beef burger is replaced with a Beyond Meat option that wouldn’t be so difficult. It starts the conversation and every little contribution helps.

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Would you consider eating Beyond Meat to help the environment? Or, do you think that this study is just a lot of gas?