Eco-appeal under magnifying glass – fact check: “Veggie” is so good for the climate

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Eat less meat for the climate – this is a common eco appeal. As eco-friendly but vegan as it is, the “Krone” went into fact check. The balance doesn’t always look right.

“The climate rescue marketing for different drinks or vegan burgers rarely keeps what it promises,” criticizes the chairman of the Farmers’ Union, Georg Strasser. What makes him enthusiastic and makes him see this type of food with different eyes: The raw materials, for example in the popular almond drink, often come from abroad.

A lion’s share of the global crop of this product comes from drought-stricken California. “Anyone who buys products from water-poor growing areas does more harm to the environment than consuming regional milk. However, a liter of almond drink consumes 371 liters of water. Then there is the long transport route from the US to us,” says Strasser.

Vegan often with artificial additives
The equation – a milkmaid calculation of a special kind – seems to prove him right: it takes 8.35 liters of water to produce one liter of cow’s milk from Austria. And while milk contains numerous natural ingredients, a look at the ingredient list of some almond drinks and vegan burgers shows that these products are industrially processed, they are made in the lab. “Vegan products often contain artificial additives. Vegetables, fruit, milk, meat and eggs from Austrian farmers are close to where they come from,” says Strasser.

Regional raw materials protect the climate better
The decisive criterion, also for Agriculture Minister Norbert Totschnig (ÖVP), is regional production, whether with Murau cow’s milk or the Waldviertler oatmeal drink: “We call on consumers to always ask themselves how much climate protection there is in vegan Products.”

Source: Krone

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