During the NVVL convention in June, the impact of veganism on health, sustainability and technology was discussed. All speakers agree on one thing: a lifestyle in which we focus more on vegetable products instead of animal products does no harm to anyone. But leaving out all animal proteins is less sustainable than you might have believed.
One speaker compared the ‘average’ Dutch diet (according to the food consumption survey) with a flexitarian, pescotarian, vegetarian and vegan diet. “The striking thing about these figures is that you see that with a healthy vegan diet you cannot achieve the carbon footprint target as agreed in the Paris climate agreement.” If you eat according to vegan standards what is best for the planet, you will therefore lack nutrients.
The conclusion? Efficiency is key. By consuming less animal products, we lower our carbon footprint, but we should go completely vegan. If you look at the relationship between environmental impact and nutritional value, a vegan diet is not optimal. A healthy and environmentally friendly diet consists of a little bit of dairy and meat, and a little bit of fatty fish for the good fatty acids.
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