cows on a field

Animal Meat Consumption Slows For First Time Since 2000


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I remember the first time someone told me that I wasn’t going to make a difference by subbing a cheeseburger for a plant-based burger.

It has stuck with me for years. Even drove me to make more sustainable choices to prove that I could indeed make an impact.

Why did I start subbing out beef? Once I learned about the impact of it on our environment. Not to mention on our health. Red meat is a type two carcinogenic. All covered in the amazing Netflix documentary, Cowspiracy. And ya know, Beyond Burgers and Impossible Meats really are tasty.

With regard to the environment, beef has a massive carbon footprint. Cows release methane which is 28x more powerful at warming our Earth compared to CO2. Their agriculture also accounts for 80% of deforestation. Mind you, we need all of these trees to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. When cut, the released carbon is emitted back into our atmosphere. 

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While there is an abundant amount of press to back the plant-based movement, let’s take a second to understand how animal-meat consumption is shifting. According to Bloomberg, “the 3% drop in per-capita meat consumption expected for this year will be the biggest decline since at least 2000.” 

You read that right. A decline. And get this, out of the most popular animal meats, beef production is declining. Giving Earth a chance to breathe. See – it does make a difference!


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How are businesses responding?

I’d say they’re catching on. According to FoodBev Media, 40% of leading food firms including Nestle, Unilever and Kroger now have dedicated teams for the development of plant-based alternatives. Not to throw anyone under the bus, but apparently Kraft Heinz and Costco are falling behind according to FAIRR

Who’s FAIRR?

They’re a global network of investors that address ESG issues in protein supply chains. Lately, they’ve been (successfully) encouraging major food firms to diversify their protein sources in order to drive growth with regard to the plant-based meat demand.

What’s ESG Investing?

Taking non-financial factors including Environmental, Social and Governance into analysis to identify risk and growth opportunities. Unlike financials, these are not mandatory to report on. 

Whether or not these animal meat production numbers are partially derived from COVID-19 factory shut downs, I firmly believe that where consumers put their $$$, companies and investors will follow. That is, if they have the right insights (and now, plant-based) teams. 

with lots of love for the planet,

the sustennial

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