University of Michigan Life Cycle Assessment shows sustainability benefits of plant-based meat over conventional beef

Oct. 1, 2018, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

Dr. Martin Heller, research specialist at the Center for Sustainable Systems in U-M’s School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), conducted a peer-reviewed life cycle assessment to quantify the environmental impact of the production of the Beyond Burger through it’s distribution to retailers. The study shows that production of the Beyond Burger has a significantly lighter environmental footprint—from a sustainability perspective—than production of traditional beef hamburgers. Compared to a ¼ lb. of U.S. beef, producing a ¼ lb. Beyond Burger requires:

  • 99% less impact on water scarcity

  • 93% less impact on land use

  • 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions

  • Nearly 50% less energy

Research brief:

Forbes article:

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Mayor Adams to expand plant-based eating clinic to all five boroughs

Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky, Gothamist, February 7, 2022

On the heels of “vegan Fridays,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams says his administration will be expanding a chronic disease management program that focuses on diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors rather than medication.

The Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program, piloted at Bellevue starting in 2019, will open up clinics in five new Health and Hospitals locations across the city this year, officials announced during a press conference, prior to a mayoral vegan chili cooking demonstration on Monday.

In addition to the original Bellevue location, patients will be able to enroll at Health and Hospitals Jacobi and Lincoln in the Bronx, the Brooklyn sites of Woodhull and Kings County, Elmhurst in Queens and Gotham Health Vanderbilt in Staten Island….

“New York is going to change the conversation about using food not to feed healthcare crises, but to stop the crises,” Adams said, adding that he credits his diet, described as a “plant based-centered life,” for his management of his type II diabetes…..

Studies suggest that a diet low in animal foods and rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds can slash the risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases. In 2017, about 12% of New Yorkers reported they were diabetic, according to city data. Black and brown New Yorkers are more likely than their white peers to be diabetic, and diabetes rates are highest in low-income neighborhoods. Black New Yorkers are also more likely than any other group to die prematurely of heart disease….

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Vegan Fridays for All? More Schools Offer Plant-Based Meals

by Steve Holt, Civil Eats, March 21, 2022

New York joins Miami, Los Angeles, and the District of Columbia in expanding plant-based offerings for students.

In February, the New York School System, which serves 1.1 million students in 1,800 school cafeterias, began serving hot, plant-based meals to all students on Fridays following an executive order by the city’s newly elected mayor, Eric Adams.

New York City Department of Education spokesperson Jenna Lyle says “Vegan Fridays” build on the success of Meatless Mondays, first introduced in 2019, and Meatless Fridays, introduced in April 2021. Besides the hot vegan meals on Fridays, cold plant-based options like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hummus and pretzels are available every day, Lyle says….

“Plant-based options in schools means healthy eating and healthy living and improving the quality of life for thousands of New York City students,” said Mayor Adams in a recent statement. “I’m thrilled to see that all students will now have access to healthy foods that will prevent debilitating health conditions.”

New York joins Miami, Los Angeles, and the District of Columbia in expanding plant-based offerings for students. And for good reason—according to the Plant Based Food Association, 79 percent of respondents in Generation Z report eating a plant-based meal one to two times a week. Despite this rise in “flexitarianism,” however, just 14 percent of school districts nationwide offer plant-based meals in at least one school….

[… Read more at Civil Eats ]