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World Food Day - The environmental impact of beef consumption

Today is World Food Day and the HPA Group could not remain indifferent to the theme suggested by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) this year: the promotion of “healthy and sustainable food” available and accessible to all. Discover the strategies for a more sustainable diet.

On this day it is important not only to reflect on our food choices, but also on their impact on the planet.

Excessive consumption of beef is considered by many experts to be one of the factors with the greatest environmental impact.

This is justified not only by the surface occupied by the pasture areas necessary for the creation of cattle and, for example, by the birds, the amount of water consumed by both the animals and the amount used in the necessary production processes for these animals. In addition, the gases emitted by cattle (by belching and flatulence), namely methane, when compared to the emissions produced by cars, are higher, contributing to global warming of the planet, not forgetting all the energy needed during this process.

From a nutritional point of view, we also know that reducing the intake of red meat (less saturated fat) has advantages in preventing some pathologies such as obesity and cardiovascular disease.

In this sense, the frequent consumption of this type of meat, in addition to being more expensive and less healthy, does not seem to be the best option either, especially considering that by 2050 we will have to feed a total of 9.7 billion people in the world.

Strategies for a more sustainable diet:

  • Decrease the consumption of animal products, introducing 1 day a week, totally vegetarian
  • Increase the daily consumption of pulses, creating the habit of consuming 1 portion of beans, chickpeas, peas, lentils, or broad beans per day (25g of dried pulses)
  • Replace or reduce the amount of red meat and its processed products (hamburgers, sausages, pre-packaged) opting for simple poultry meat
  • Prefer fish over meat, ensuring minimum fish intake 3 days a week
  • Reduce daily food waste; cook a meal that takes into account the leftovers that can be used in the preparation of a new dish


16, October 2019