Vegan Foods

Jo Kemp, owner of The Blonde Beet, talks about going vegan

Will going vegan save the world?

The easy answer? No, writes Jo Kemp, owner of The Blonde Beet. However, eating plant-based diets is going to make a huge difference…

The reality is that a third of the emissions linked to climate change come from our food, including 60% from the agricultural system itself. And the varying impacts that certain foods have on our climate are striking.

Beef, lamb and dairy are the biggest challenges. They are the ones who require the most land for their production, both for grazing and for the production of their food. The majority of soy in Western diets is actually consumed ‘indirectly’, with over 90% of soy imported into the EU used for animal feed, rather than in soy foods for us humans. .

Jo Kemp’s food, blonde beets

Europeans consume twice the world average of meat and three times the world average of dairy products, which means that the production of animal feed often leads to deforestation, loss of biodiversity and pollution, occupying cultivated land that could be used more efficiently for food production.

Of course, switching from meat to plant-based, non-seasonal processed foods from around the world won’t do much to reduce your carbon footprint. But even that equates to far less impact than a diet high in mass-produced, grain-fed meat and dairy.

Basically, our food system is complicated and at odds with what we actually need to stay fit and healthy. But there are a few basic ways we can all reduce our impact.

Choosing plant-based, seasonal and local products as a consumer signals to retailers what our demands are for a healthier planet. Trying to “veganize” your meals with simple swaps of typical meat dishes can be an easy win and still taste amazing. At a time when purse strings are tighter than ever, choosing to make meals from vegetables, beans, and legumes couldn’t be much cheaper.

And if giving up meat and dairy is a lot to ask, then reserving purchases for locally raised, grass-fed, and organic produce will help direct your spending toward higher-quality products that care a lot more about animals, income for farmers and the planet.

Climate Action Group meetings take place almost every month on a Wednesday at 6 p.m. To register, please email [email protected] for the link. Everyone is welcome!