Are vegetarians better for the environment?

11 February 2014

Question

“Is being a vegetarian better for the environment and what about people who eat fish who are also vegetarians?”

Answer

Marie-Ann - Really, the main question here is how was your food farmed. So, if organic farming is given as the most sustainable method of farming we have at the moment because it reintroduces nutrients back into the soil, all the nutrients that had taken out are put back. There are lot of regulations around looking after animals as well as fruit and vegetables and making sure that everything is as sustainable as possible. So, if you have an organic lamb that is fed correctly on grass outdoors and is fit, then it's just actually relatively sustainable beast whereas if you have a soya bean that has been grown for example in the Amazon and transported over, that is not particularly sustainable. So really, it's a personal choice and you really need to look carefully at the provenance of your food. Chris - David...

David - Well, I think it's a pretty good answer. I'll leave you that.

Chris - Are there any things that are specifically worse in terms of freight as far as vegetarians type things, moving vegetables around versus moving meat?

David - Well, things get refrigerated. Again, it's a problem. Things that come by air is a problem. Sea freight is very low energy. Air freight uses same miles per gallon as driving a car and that's very expensive.

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