Burger, Meatballs, Sausages on a board with vegetables Pea protein can be used to make vegan sausages, meatballs, and more - Media Credit: Greenforce

Brits Can Offset Flight Emissions With Pea-Based Meat, New Study Finds

Net zero is one step closer when vegan meals are given priority, suggests new research

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2 Minutes Read

If everybody in the UK replaces beef with pea protein twice a week, methane emissions will drop by 2.4 million metric tons. 

This is the finding of German food tech and plant-based protein manufacturer Greenforce. 

Data analysis into the positive impact of replacing animal protein revealed that 67.3 million tons of CO2 equivalent can be negated by choosing beef-free meal bases. 

This is enough to offset the UK’s total aviation emissions, which stood at 39.6 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2019. 

The UK has committed to reaching net zero aviation by 2040 in its ‘Jet Zero’ strategy. 

Methane is a major environmental concern

The European Commission cites cutting methane emissions as the “single most effective strategy” to reduce global warming.

As a result, eight countries have joined together in the Global Methane Pledge and promise to slash emissions by 30 percent in the next decade. The UK and US are participating, alongside major beef producer Argentina.

At least 28 times more effective in heating the atmosphere than CO2, methane is extremely dangerous. Human activity directly causes methane production, thanks to a dependence on fossil fuels and animal agriculture. The latter accounts for 32 percent of all methane emissions alone. 

Widely accepted methodologies for cutting methane include alternative cattle feed, effective food waste management, and reduced meat and dairy production.

Spreading the message about methane reduction

Greenforce has released its findings in a bid to persuade people to consider pea protein, which it claims has a virtually non-existent methane footprint. This is when compared to animal products, particularly beef and lamb.

Alongside Greenforce, which produces vegan dry-mix items including sausages, burgers, and fishcakes, are a number of pea protein advocates. Plant-based giant Beyond Meat credits the ingredient for giving its products a realistically “meaty” texture. So too does Future Farm and Moving Mountains.

“We have an excellent opportunity to combat global warming and make big savings in our greenhouse gas footprints. Also, our land and water footprints, by altering our food choices away from meat, particularly beef,” Greenforce ambassador and vegan athlete Patrik Baboumian said in a statement.

“When we look at the findings of this analysis, the results are truly eye-opening; clearly, the responsible choice is plant protein, particularly pea protein; there’s no denying this now.”

“It just goes to show another powerful reason to choose peas and plants over animals when it comes to your protein sources,” he added.

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The Author

Amy Buxton

Amy enjoys reporting on vegan news and sustainability initiatives. She has a degree in English literature and language and is raising a next-gen vegan daughter.

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