Not all meals are equal in terms of sustainability. Some ingredients and foods require more energy, water and other inputs. The most resource intensive ingredients are meats. The second most resource intensive products tend to be dairy based. Take a look at our calculations for Beef Havarti Quesadilla’s C02 footprint vs. a Mushroom Quesadilla’s CO2 footprint.
Beef Havarti Quesadilla vs Mushroom Quesadilla
There is a fairly significant difference between the two meals with the mushroom quesadilla having 3lbs less of an impact. This is with a meal that only has 3 oz of beef. In both meals cheese is the highest contributor of C02. However there is more than 3xs more cheese than meat in the Beef Havarti Quesadilla. If there were equal amounts of beef and cheese, beef’s footprint would be almost double that of cheese
Being conscious of your consumption of high impact foods can cut down your environmental impact. Check to make sure you aren’t over eating meat as a protein source or consider eating alternative proteins in combination or instead of meat. If you can bear to cut back on your dairy consumption (but make sure you are still getting enough calcium).