while producing a plate of peas requires a fraction of the energy needed to produce the same number of calories of pork, the energy costs of a pea-burger and a pork chop are about equal. That's not the only issue with fake meat. Consider the process that keeps your veggie burgers low in fat: The cheapest way to remove fatty soybean oil is with hexane, an EPA-registered air pollutant and suspected neurotoxin. A 2009 study by the Cornucopia Institute, a sustainable-farming nonprofit, found that Boca, Morningstar Farms, and Gardenburger (among others) market products made with hexane. The finding was enough to turn Cornucopia researcher Charlotte Vallaeys off of fake meat. "I can't think of a single meat-alternative product where I could explain how every ingredient is made," she says. "With a grass-fed burger, well, there's one ingredient. And with grass-fed burgers I actually might be doing something good for the environment."It's still not easy eating green.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Livestock, Fake Meat, and Carbon Footprints
Oh sure, just don't eat meat and you're great, right? Wrong: