How consuming Queal can contribute to the freeing of agricultural land.
October 19th 2018
A meat-based diet requires way more land, water, and energy to sustain than a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. Due to this environmental impact, more and more people are becoming interested in plant-based meals and proteins. Today we show what the impact is of replacing your meat-based meals with Queal, according to the usage of agricultural land.
Why we think it’s important.
“The current ways of food production and consumption causes way too much environmental pressure to ensure a sustainable food supply in the future.” (Aiking, H.)
This exactly, is why we think supporting a shift in diet is the right thing to do. Roughly 80% of our world’s agricultural land is used for rearing farm animals and - thereby - the production of animal protein. Grazing land for ruminants accounts for 26 percent of the world's ice-free land surface, and worldwide, about 100 million hectares of land is used to grow crops for livestock. With cattle needing approximately 7 kilograms of grain in order to “grow” 1 kilogram of meat, it’s safe to say the current food system is inefficient. By providing only vegetarian and vegan meals we want to contribute to a more efficient food system. Less focus on animals, more focus on environmental impact.
Why it’s important for you.
According to the founders of “Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat” the footprint of animal agriculture “beats” that of every car, truck, bus, ship, airplane, and rocket ship put together. When not cutting massively on the animal agriculture, climate goals won’t succeed. More information related to co2 emission will follow in a next blog post in this series.
Starting from a typical diet and when it comes to production overall, a vegetarian diet uses 2.5 times less land. More and more people are becoming interested in a vegetarian or vegan diet. In the US only, there was a 600% increase (from 1% to 6%) in vegan and plant-based diets in 2017. In the UK, over 0.5 million people are vegans today - 20% of them are between 16 and 24 years old. Great news, vegetarianism is booming. However, in comparison to for example India - where between 31% and 42% of the people is a vegetarian or vegan - we still have a way to go. Another downside is that just these “originally” vegetarian or vegan countries - which happen to be former 3rd world countries - now undergo a counter-movement. People are becoming wealthier, which results in consuming more meat and animal products in general.
Overall, the increase in vegetarianism or veganism is a gradual process. But what would happen when everyone went vegetarian? Compared to a vegetarian’s diet, a meat eater’s diet requires (besides more land) 14 times more water, and 10 times more energy. To feed all people on our planet in 2050, we should produce more sustainably.
Cutting down on meat completely, to free agricultural land, seems not to be the best solution. Some land, now used for grazing, isn’t suitable for growing crops. Also, when everyone would suddenly stop eating meat, farmers should probably slow down in breeding to overcome returning animals into the wild. So while on the one hand, we should support veganism and it’s international growth, we shouldn't move towards (mostly) plant-based societies too fast. Luckily, in this case, the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle needs some time to adapt and people usually don't go vegan overnight. However, they should certainly be encouraged to make a change.
What we have accomplished so far.
This change is what we stand for, by only providing vegetarian and vegan meals. As shakes are often not what you think about when it comes to meat and vice versa, most of our customers don’t even notice they’re part of a positive sustainable change.
At this point, Queal customers all together have freed approximately 1.183.345 m2 of agricultural land by replacing their meat-based meals with Queal products. That's 237 soccer fields, or a bit more than the total surface area of Hong Kong. On the Queal dashboard, you can find out how much agricultural land you've freed all by yourself. In the future, we will be working on features to let you adjust the calculation based on your personal diet compared to the average - mostly meat-based - diet.