Published: April 1, 2021 By

Although eating plant-based may seem like the most sustainable dietary option, it is not always the most practical and accessible option for everybody. There are ways, however, to still eat meat and dairy products in a sustainable way! Simply being more cautious on where you source your meat from can make all the difference. Reducing your consumption of the least sustainable options will also prove to have a bigger impact than one might expect.

Why Choose Sustainable Meats:

How to Choose Sustainable Meat Sources

  • When you do eat meat, know the difference between the most sustainable options:

    • Try to avoid red meats like beef, and avoid lamb and mutton as much as possible

    • Buy your meat from local farmers, or from farms you are positive grass-feed their livestock. 

    • Opt for pasture-raised, since it mimics a more ‘natural’ state, it is the more sustainable choice. 

    • Fish, chicken, and pork are more environmentally friendly options.

    • Seafood typically has a lower carbon footprint, like mussels, oysters, and scallops. 

  • Do some research in companies and grocery stores that are striving to be sustainable in where they source their meat, dairy, and seafood. 

    • Whole Foods is a great example of a company that has very high sustainability standards for the food and brands that they sell.

This report is a great resource for more information about American companies that either do or do not source sustainable meats.

Other Ways to Be a Sustainable Meat-Eater:

Environmental Justice and Sustainable Diets:

  • Not everyone has access to freely choose whether or not to eat certain kinds of foods, and we must acknowledge that this is a big issue with plant-based diets. 

  • The cost of quality meat is not accessible to low income communities, in fact food deserts are common especially in these low-income areas. For more information on what food deserts are and food insecurity in general, check out this article!

  • Here is a link to 24 organizations that are helping in fighting for food justice and security!