START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

What’s Better For the Planet – Organic or Vegetarian?

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.

Waking Up: Vegetarian to Vegan
What’s a Vegan Diet?
15 Reasons to Eat Organic Food

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Food, Green, Health

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Katie, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.


+ add your own
6:08PM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

Thank you.

5:33PM PDT on Jul 1, 2013


7:29PM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

Wish organic wasn't so expensive and there were more organic stores around.

3:38PM PDT on Apr 6, 2013


3:41PM PDT on Apr 5, 2013


10:02AM PDT on Apr 5, 2013


8:26AM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

I am already vegetarian, long time ago I have decided not to eat meat. My husband is still mainly carnivore, but is trying my vegetarian dishes and he has started eating less meat out of respect for my point of view. I also stopped eating eggs for about a year ago and never felt better. Organic & Vegetarian is the good way to start. Thanks for the article.

7:22AM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

importante conhecer este assunto, grata pela postagem!!!!

4:09AM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

Dianne, just say, I salute you Eileen for that is surely the finest generic on line stupidity I have seen.

11:50PM PDT on Apr 4, 2013

I think that organic vegan would be the best!

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Those are some colorful jelly beans..

Mutts are *M*A*G*I*C* My mutts rescue me every day & give me so much purpose :)

Thank you.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!