What’s Better For the Planet – Organic or Vegetarian?
By Sara Novak, Planet Green
Weíve made some big strides in terms of environmentally conscious diets. Veganism and vegetarianism are making their way to the mainstream.
Celebrities and important figures along with expanded animal-free offerings are making a meat-free diet more appealing. The same is true of organic foods. The market for organic foods is actually on the rise more this year than the market for conventional. But which does more good for the planet? If you had to make a choice, which should you choose?
According to a new study found on Food Navigator, itís more important to eat more plant-based foods than it is to buy organic foods. Researchers in Austria found that the amount of land needed to feed each individual would be reduced from 3,600 square meters per person to 2,600 square meters per person. The diet change would also decrease the about of fertilizers needed.
Led by Professor Matthias Zessner from the TU Vienna, the research team argued that a low meat diet has substantial ecological advantages, whilst finding that switching to organic is less effective than eating more vegetables and less meat.
Cutting way back on meat had a much more far reaching impact than eating organic. However, while researchers downgraded the implications of choosing organic, hereís what they missed:
If youíre looking to reduce fertilizer use, which come from fossil fuels as listed above, you have to choose organic in addition to cutting back on meat. Additionally, avoiding GMOs means choosing organic foods as well. GMOs are grown using an onslaught of pesticides and they are a monoculture, which can create dead zones and erosion, all a problem for the planet.
In the end, do both: itíll be better for you and the planet.