Meat and the Environment


Meat accounts for 40 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted during the production of the average Dutch food. Meat has a significant impact on the climate as it requires an average of 5 kg of plant-based feed to produce 1 kg of meat. So eating less meat is good for the climate. Here are some rules to help you eat and drink whole foods.

Greenhouse gas

Cultivation and transportation of animal feed cause a lot of emissions. Feeds often contain South American soybeans. Most of the nature reserves will be converted to agricultural land for soybean cultivation. When primeval forests and grasslands are converted to agricultural land, many greenhouse gases are released from the soil. Transportation also determines part of the impact on climate, vehicles (Honda suv 2021) as a mode of transportation of crops and animal feeds also emits greenhouse gases.

Fertilizer Problems

Livestock production produces more fertilizer than is needed to fertilize pastures and fields. Certain substances from fertilizers such as phosphates, nitrates, and ammonia can enter groundwater and surface water by rain and wind. This leads to natural acidification and eutrophication. This leads to reduced biodiversity on land and in the water. To get clean drinking water, you also need to clean the contaminated surface and groundwater. Tighter regulations mean less naturally released phosphates and ammonia.

Circular Economy and Meat

Circular Economy uses nutrients optimally. Cattle only eat leftovers from agriculture, horticulture, the food industry, or grass from grasslands that are not suitable for agriculture. Fertilizers serve as nutrients that allow the product to grow again. The cycle can only be closed if we eat less meat around the world. The demand for meat is still so great that cattle do not have enough feed from residual products or grasslands in the area. The feed comes from all over the world, which creates a surplus of fertilizer here but lacks raw materials elsewhere.

Organic Meat

Strict requirements apply to organic livestock. Recognized by the European Quality Mark (green leaves) of organic farming, organic meat is set by the European Union and meets the requirements of organic farming set by Dutch law.

For example, organic animals go out all year round, with more space inside. There are also requirements for organic feed. Read more about organic meat.