We are all aware, or at least we should be aware, that our meat production industries are not helpful to our environment. Now we have more information about exactly how bad it is and it isn’t going to make the meat eaters amoungst us happy to see this!

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) – be aware, this is a US non-profit – have done the studies and come up with some stats.

Australia is a huge meat eating country, yes we love our lamb, beef, pork and chicken but unfortunately and obviously they are ranked very poorly on the Eat Smart Chart.

The EWG’s “Meat Eater’s Guide” doesn’t necessarily promote a vegan lifestyle, though. Sure, everyone sticking to grains and forgoing meat entirely might be the best thing for the environment, but it’s an unrealistic expectation. The report takes a more reasonable approach by encouraging meat eaters to simply eat less, and to eat local, grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free meat whenever possible.


Make meatless and cheese-less nights part of your life; on at least two other days, make meat a side dish, not a main course. For more information, check out our Mid Week Meat Free Recipes


When shopping, look for:

  • Grass fed or pasture-raised meat has fewer antibiotics and hormones and in some cases may have more nutrients and less fat; livestock live in more humane, open, sanitary conditions.
  • Lean cuts: less fat will likely mean fewer cancer-causing toxins in your body.
  • No antibiotics or hormones: reduces unnecessary exposure and helps keep human medicines effective.
  • Certified organic: keeps pesticides, chemical fertilizers and genetically modified foods off the land, out of the water and out of our bodies.
  • Certified humane: means no growth hormones or antibiotics were used and ensures that animals were raised with enough space and no cages or crates.
  • Unprocessed, nitrite-free and low-sodium: avoid lunchmeats, hot dogs, prepackaged smoked meats and chicken nuggets.
  • Sustainable Seafood: avoid airfreighted fish and farmed salmon; consult Monterey Bay Aquarium’s list of the most sustainable seafood choices at montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx

When you buy less meat overall, you can afford healthier, greener meat.

If you can’t find these healthier products, ask your grocer to carry them.


Good, low-impact protein foods include grains, legumes, nuts and tofu. Choose organic when possible.


Buy right-size portions and eat what you buy. On average, uneaten meat accounts for more than twenty percent of meat’s greenhouse gas emissions!


Choose cream cheese, part-skim or fresh mozzarella, gouda, feta, muenster, cottage cheese and non-fat yogurt. Choose organic when possible.


Ask your representatives to change policies, such as:

  • Strengthening regulation of concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFOs) to prevent pollution and unnecessary use of antibiotics and hormones.
  • Cutting taxpayer subsidies for animal feed and funding programs that support pasture-raised livestock and diversified, organic crop production.
  • Strengthening conservation requirements on farms that collect subsidies.
  • Serving less meat and more fresh fruits and vegetable in school lunch programs.
  • Enacting comprehensive energy and climate policies.

To read the whole guide and find out more information check out Meat Eaters Guide

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