Plant-based meat consumption helps the environment and benefits human health, study finds

BATH, UK – As a recent review by food scientists at the University of Bath indicates that plant-based meat is better for the environment compared to animal-based meat, as well as being good for the human body, vegetarians may have the right idea after all.

Chris Bryant, professor of psychology at the University of Bath, said that by appealing to three fundamental consumer wants: price, taste and convenience, plant-based products can clearly drive demand away from animal products.

Bryant and his team’s review found strong evidence that plant-based substitutes for animal products offer a variety of health advantages, as well as being significantly greener than animal products in terms of water consumption, GHG emissions and land use.

Plant-based meats have come a long way. Now that “beyond” and “impossible” meat substitutes can mimic the texture, taste, and experience of eating animal meats, eating just tofu is a thing of the past. People seem to be avoiding the meat and dairy sections in favor of vegetarian cuisine as more options become available.

The current study reviewed 43 studies that examined the effects of plant-based foods on human health and the environment. In addition, they looked for patterns in consumer behavior, particularly attitudes toward consuming meat substitutes. One study found that 90% of people who ate plant-based dairy and meat were carnivores or flexitarians, or vegetarians who occasionally ate meat. The researchers further concluded that plant-based foods with flavors more similar to processed meats were much more likely to take the place of actual animal meat.

Also Read: Companies Develop New Sustainable Plant-Based Nylon For Everyday Items


Plant-based foods not only taste good, they also allow people to eat “guilt-free.” According to the review, products made from plants reduce greenhouse gas emissions more than those made from animals. According to estimates, pea protein can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by eight million tons per year by replacing 5% of beef consumption in Germany. Burgers made with plants instead of beef could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 98%. Plant-based diets are healthier for the environment in part because their production uses less water, farmland and other resources than meat production.

According to the researchers, animal meat is not as healthy for the body as plant-based foods. According to one study, 14% of plant-based alternatives are “less healthy” than 40% of meat products.

Alternative meat and dairy products made from plants can help with weight loss and muscle growth. One explanation is that food producers can get creative with their recipes by including spirulina, microalgae, or edible fungi in plant-based foods. As a result, people eat more antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin B, and amino acids. However, the total number of calories consumed and the amount of exercise a person gets are also important factors in their overall health.

Bryant suggests that future studies of plant-based foods should focus on ways to increase their flavor, nutritional value, and sustainability while reducing demand for meat, Study Finds reports.

Related article: Plant-based diet curbs emissions from food production

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