Swapping fifth of meat for alternative foods could halve deforestation

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Even a modest shift from ruminant meat to microbial proteins could cut deforestation and carbon emissions 56 per cent by 2050



Environment



4 May 2022

meat free 'chicken pieces' of Quorn

An employee inspects meat-free “chicken pieces”, manufactured by Quorn Foods

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Swapping a fifth of the world’s meat consumption for meat-free alternatives made in factories would more than halve global deforestation and related carbon emissions, a group of researchers has found.

Cattle ranches and crops grown to feed cows are two of the biggest drivers of forests being cleared across the tropics, which is continuing despite political pledges to curb the loss of carbon-rich, biodiverse habitats.

Microbial proteins, such as the Quorn mycoprotein made from a fungus and sugar in heated …



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