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Beyond Meat and the Environment

Beyond Meat and the Environment

Burgers are a staple of the American diet. Billions of them are consumed each year. Sadly, meat production requires energy, water, and land. Agriculture, especially with cattle, is really bad for the Earth. We all love burgers, but we don’t want to feel guilty eating them. That’s where Beyond Meat comes in. Beyond believes that “there is a better way to feed the planet.” 

So, do they have a better way to feed the planet? Well, yes, depending on what you consider better. At EarthPlex, we consider the better option to be the one that is more sustainable. You may be wondering, What is my Big Mac doing to destroy the world? Well, Brian, red meat uses a lot of water in the production process, requires farming land, and methane from cattle digestion pumps tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Now you may be wondering, How can one company fix all of these problems? Well - let’s make you Jill - Beyond doesn’t make meat like most companies do; instead, they manufacture burgers in a lab - out of plants. 

Yuck! A plant-based burger! No way! Stop it, Brenda. Keep an open mind. I had the chance to try the Beyond Burger and it does not taste like a salad. You can read my review here. This post does not detail the production process, but the Beyond Meat CEO does a good job explaining the process in an interview with Katie Couric. What we will be exploring is the environmental impact of meat vs. Beyond Meat. 

According to a study from the University of Michigan comparing Beyond burgers to beef burgers, Beyond burgers generate 90% less greenhouse gas emissions, require 46% less energy, have over 99% less impact on water scarcity, and 93% less impact on land use compared to a beef burger. That’s a lot to digest. Beyond has an improved manufacturing process because they don’t rely on animals for their products, and with time, they can perfect their products to make them less expensive, even more sustainable, and taste better.

    Read about Burger King's plan to make burgers with cows that fart less by clicking here.

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  1. I had one recently. I was worried it would taste too much like meat for vegetarian me. It tasted like I remember hamburgers tasting, but I still liked it. Although it was slightly weird since I haven't had a hamburger since 1992.


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