Not all meat is created equal when it comes to its environmental impact:
According to Environmental Working Group, pound for pound lamb is actually the most carbon-intense meat. But it’s hardly an environmental worry since lamb only accounts for one percent of all meat consumed in the U.S.
Second on the list of protein with the highest environmental impact is beef. The greenhouse gas emissions of beef are double those of pork and four times the emissions of chicken. That’s significant since 30 percent of all meat consumed in the U.S. is beef.
How will the world keep up with the global appetite and environmental demands of increased meat consumption?
One answer is cultured meat. A team of researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands is growing beef from actual animal tissue in their lab. Two years ago they cooked some up in a hamburger patty and fed it to media. Their research continues as they work to reduce the overall cost of their product to a point that they can actually start selling it.
Cultured meat isn’t the only way to reduce the environmental impact of meat:
Eating meat less often, and serving smaller portions of meat will help reduce the environmental impact of your supper.
Choosing better quality meat will have an impact too: Grass-fed beef has a much lower carbon footprint than factory-farmed beef.
Chicken has the lowest carbon footprint of all meat but other protein sources like fish, nuts, beans and lentils have progressively lower environmental impacts, with lentils having the smallest environmental impact of all common proteins.