Saving the Planet: One bite at a time

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsSeminar/WorkshopResearch


This explores the ethical, environmental and climatic impact that people and businesses can make through the choice of foodstuffs that are produced and consumed. It is widely accepted that production and consumption of meat is a far greater drain on land and water resources, and far greater producer of carbon than the production and consumption of grains and vegetables. The number of people choosing meat-free / plant-based diets in the UK is soaring. Ultra-processed meat alternatives are a growth market, and companies are producing ever-increasing quantities of this type of food, despite the hidden issues – jackfruit (as substitute for pulled pork, for example) is 100% imported, generates carbon in the transport phase, and contains almost no protein.
There are also less immediately apparent impacts that our food consumption has on the planet. In March 2023, for example, the UK Government announced that it was likely to remove tariffs on Malaysian palm oil imports as a way of securing a post-Brexit trade agreement. Palm oil is one of the greatest causes of deforestation and biodiversity loss in Malaysia and is used to stop peanut butter from separating and slow the melt time of ice cream.
The paper concludes that given the shambolic failure of governments globally to control climate change, the onus falls on consumers to make conscious environmentally and ethically sound decisions about what they are prepared to eat, and force businesses to produce in a truly sustainable way.
Period28 Mar 2023
Held atFaculty of Business & Law
Degree of RecognitionLocal