Advancing climate protection through changing nutrition

Advancing climate protection through changing nutrition

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Protect the climate: change nutrition

A recent study reported that around 20 billion people will be at risk of climate change in 2050. The researchers appealed to political decision-makers to work towards better climate protection. But everyone can do something to protect the environment. Nutrition is very important here.

The Consumer Center Schleswig-Holstein points out in a message that people who want to make a personal contribution to better climate protection will find good approaches to nutrition. "You can save up to 600 kilograms of CO2 per year if you take into account the" seasonal - regional - organic "formula and use as few animal foods as possible," the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety wrote on its website. In this way, the climate protection goals for 2030 could be brought within reach.

15 percent of greenhouse gases come from nutrition

Nutrition plays an important role in climate protection: According to a study by the Federal Environment Agency, around 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions per capita in Germany are due to daily eating and drinking. According to the consumer advice center, this is mainly due to the high consumption of meat, dairy products and eggs. According to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), every German consumes an average of around 60 kilograms of meat per year - this corresponds to around 200 steaks per head. Farm animals such as cattle already produce gases that are harmful to the climate during their lifetime. In addition, the effect is further enhanced by the production of animal feed, slaughtering and the transportation of the meat to the trade.

Halve meat consumption

As the environmental protection organization Greenpeace wrote in an older press statement, the Germans must cut their meat consumption in half by 2050 in order to make a contribution to achieving the Paris climate goals. A health diet with much less meat is also an advantage because it contains a lot of fat and cholesterol. According to the Helmholtz Institute, these properties increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure or cardiac arrhythmias, and even a heart attack. And when meat is heated, pollutants are created that can promote cancer. If you eat a lot of meat, you also have a higher risk of inflammation in the body.

Regional and organic products

The majority of Germans eat more meat than is recommended by nutritionists. “If you convert the average meat consumption from 60 kilograms per year to a week, that's 1.2 kilograms per person. The recommendations of the German Society for Nutrition are a maximum of 600 grams of meat per week, ”said Iris Buschmann from the Schleswig-Holstein Consumer Center.

In another communication, the consumer advice center writes that a climate-healthy diet means eating less meat and sausage and instead eating more vegetables and fruit, throwing less food away and giving priority to regional products and organic food. In addition, further information is summarized that can help to take the nutritional tips to heart:

The production of one kilogram of beef produces around 14 kilograms of carbon dioxide. If you do not eat meat or sausage every day, you are doing something healthy for yourself and for the climate.

Air transport is particularly harmful to the climate and generates up to 90 times more greenhouse gases per ton of food and kilometers than ocean-going ship transport and around 15 times more than truck transport.

Food from the greenhouse damages the environment up to 30 times more with harmful carbon dioxide than outdoor vegetables.

Organic farmers only use a third of fossil energy in production compared to conventional agriculture because they do not use chemical-synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that are produced with a high consumption of energy. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Schleswig-Holstein Consumer Center: Change nutrition, advance climate protection, (accessed: 03.11.2019), Consumer Center Schleswig-Holstein
  • Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety: Climate protection tastes good, (accessed: 03.11.2019), Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
  • Federal Environment Agency: Germany's climate protection goals, (accessed: 03.11.2019), Federal Environment Agency
  • Federal Environment Agency: Consumption and the Environment: Central fields of action, (accessed: 03.11.2019), Federal Environment Agency
  • Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture: Food, Fisheries / Supply Balance / Meat, (accessed: 03.11.2019), Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
  • Greenpeace: Germans have to cut meat consumption in half for Paris climate targets, (accessed: November 3, 2019), Greenpeace
  • Helmholtz Institute: How Much Meat is Healthy? (Accessed: November 3, 2019), Helmholtz Institute
  • German Society for Nutrition: Eat and drink fully according to the 10 rules of the DGE, (accessed: 03.11.2019), German Society for Nutrition
  • Schleswig-Holstein Consumer Center: Climate protection for eating and shopping, (accessed: 03.11.2019), Schleswig-Holstein Consumer Center

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