Meat takes a toll on the planet, but these vegan favorites come at a ‘heavy’ environmental price, too

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ORGANIC FARM

It has all the makings of a delicious smoothie – a dollop of almond butter, an avocado, a few slices of mango, a handful of blueberries, a sprinkle of cocoa powder and perhaps a glug of soya milk.

As a tasty, vegan-friendly drink to start your day, it is packed with nutrients and will do wonders for your health. But it may be doing far less good for the planet.

There is no doubt that meat – beef in particular – makes an unsurpassable contribution to the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions. It also devours more land and water and causes more environmental damage than any other single food product …. But anyone looking to adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet for environmental reasons may also want to consider whether there are some plant-based foods that also come with a heavy price.

Related article:  Nigerian scientists say ‘smart’ agriculture can help mitigate climate change

Delicate fruits like blueberries and strawberries, for example, are often imported to Europe and the US by air to fill gaps left when local fruit are out of season. Research by Angelina Frankowska, who studies sustainability at the University of Manchester, recently found that asparagus eaten in the UK has the highest carbon footprint compared to any other vegetable eaten in the country ….

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