Sustainability and meat

I’ve seen a lot of info on the incredible (bad) environmental impact of meat production — the amount of land and water it takes to grow a cow is staggering. Something like 77% of the world’s land that is used for agriculture is used to graze livestock. Lamb/mutton, beef, and cheese (mostly cows still) top the list of inefficient ways to produce a gram of protein. I see plant-based fake meat (Beyond, Impossible, etc) marketing toward this — a lower impact way to enjoy a burger. I’d like to see more focus on using existing food sources to reduce the amount of meat contained in meals — rewriting recipes to reduce meat consumption.

I make a lot of meals where meat is a small component of the dish — additions instead of subtractions from the normal recipe. Enhancements instead of restrictions. Turkey burgers with lots of spinach, some feta, and garlic. Stroganoff with three different types of mushrooms, plenty of onions, and a bit of beef. Tacos and wraps loaded with rice, beans, tomatoes, onions, avocado, cheese, grilled corn, and a little grilled chicken. Sloppy joe sandwiches where half of the ground beef is replaced with red lentils. Pasta salad that’s more salad than pasta with a little bit of diced pepperoni. We have completely vegetarian meals, and I use the Beyond/Impossible substitutes to make meatball subs or sausage pizza. That all balances out the grilled steak or rack of ribs some other day.

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