According to a news story, “The Swedish furniture giant will roll out a vegetarian and a chicken version of its iconic meatballs in stores worldwide sometime next year, a company spokesperson confirmed. The vegetarian meatballs are part of IKEA’s effort to reduce the environmental impact of its estimated 150 million meatballs sold per year.”
A vegetarian/vegan diet is humane to both the environment and to us humans. According to an article in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, entitled “Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment,” “The US food production system uses about 50% of the total US land area, 80% of the fresh water, and 17% of the fossil energy used in the country.” For example:
o A larger amount of cropland, almost two-tenths of a hectare, is needed to produce a meat-based diet than is needed to produce a plant-based diet. “In fact, …US livestock consumes more than 7 times as much grain as is consumed…by the entire American population.”
o To produce one kilogram of animal protein requires about 100 times more water than to produce the same amount of grain protein.
o The needed energy to produce a meat-based diet is more than eleven times greater than that needed to produce a planted-based diet.
This massive use of nonrenewable resources is putting a strain on our planet.
Further, in 2006, the United Nations released a report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, which concludes that raising farmed animals is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.
Take Action: Thank IKEA for making this move to include a vegetarian option on their menu. Continue to encourage them to offer additional vegetarian and vegan options to help the health of the planet.
Ms. Pernille Lopez
President, IKEA North America
Ikea Corporate Office
496 West Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462