The report, produced with the help of the Authorities of Belgium, finds that these alternate options not solely present vital potential for lowering greenhouse fuel (GHG) emissions, however they’ll additionally contribute to reductions in land degradation and deforestation, water and soil air pollution and lack of biodiversity, in addition to to lowering the dangers of zoonotic illnesses and anti-microbial resistance. These novel alternate options might additionally assist to considerably scale back animal welfare issues, in comparison with their standard counterparts.
It critiques insurance policies determination makers might take into account to safeguard meals safety, jobs, livelihoods, social and gender fairness, and tradition to assist maximize the helpful outcomes of novel meat and dairy alternate options, whereas avoiding potential detrimental well being and social impacts.
“New meals alternate options will supply a broader spectrum of client selections,” stated Inger Andersen, Govt Director of UNEP. “Additional, such alternate options can even reduce the pressures on agricultural lands and scale back emissions, thereby serving to us deal with the triple planetary disaster – the disaster of local weather change, the disaster of biodiversity and nature loss, the disaster of air pollution and waste – in addition to deal with the well being and environmental penalties of the animal agriculture trade. Extra authorities help, in addition to open and clear analysis, will help unlock the potential of those new applied sciences for some international locations.”
World Challenges of Standard Animal Agriculture
Whereas standard animal merchandise are an vital supply of protein for a lot of communities, significantly in growing international locations, in lots of high- and middle-income international locations, their manufacturing and consumption occur at a scale that negatively impacts individuals and the planet. The tens of billions of animals slaughtered yearly are removed from the one victims of a fast-growing animal agriculture trade. Producing and consuming animal-source meals, whereas providing vital vitamins, has additionally been related to vital challenges for public well being: extra ranges of pink and processed meats consumption is related to cardiovascular illnesses, sure cancers, weight problems, and diabetes. Animal agriculture can also be related to elevated dangers of anti-microbial resistance – 73 % of all antimicrobials bought are utilized in animal agriculture – and with the unfold of zoonotic illnesses equivalent to COVID-19 or Avian Influenza.
The animal agriculture trade is a significant driver of local weather change: animal GHG emissions, feed manufacturing, adjustments in land use and energy-intensive world provide chains account for nearly 60 % of food-related GHG emissions and 14-20 % of world GHG emissions.
Whereas novel various meals can scale back hurt to cattle and will contribute to enhancing public well being, different well being advantages aren’t as evident: some novel plant-based merchandise are typically extremely processed and have excessive quantities of salt and saturated fat. Proof on the well being impacts of utilizing cultured meat from animal cells or fermentation stays restricted. By intently mimicking or replicating the sensory experiences of meat and different animal merchandise, novel alternate options might assist shoppers, significantly in high- and middle-income international locations, shift away from unsustainably excessive ranges of animal protein consumption. Nevertheless, value, style, and social and cultural acceptability will strongly have an effect on the trajectory of nascent alternate options to standard animal merchandise.
The report underlines the necessity to guarantee a simply transition by means of equitable and regionally acceptable approaches to meals programs change. It critiques coverage choices to shift the meals trade in direction of a more healthy and extra sustainable future: better help for open entry analysis and commercialization, shifting subsidies, tax rebates, direct monetary investments, and mortgage ensures to favor novel alternate options, in addition to internationally agreed mechanisms on supportive commerce insurance policies and meals security requirements.
The authors underscore the necessity for open and clear analysis to know the dietary implications of normal consumption of alternate options, and to know the socio-economic implications of their uptake in several areas, together with for fairness, meals safety, and livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
The report doesn’t take into account meat from wild animals, fish or different aquatic animals, although new applied sciences might also reshape the fishing sector. The report isn’t an evaluation of different alternate options to the present meals system: regenerative livestock farms, feed components to cut back emissions from animal agriculture, farming bugs, lowered meat consumption in favor of complete plant protein sources like beans, vegan merchandise like tofu, or taxing meat. Such alternate options are already being pursued alongside the three alternate options examined within the report, however have struggled to date to win authorities help and obtain impacts on the desired scale or velocity.