Good Questions! One Question, three answers

Does plant-based eating protect the climate?

timer2 minSeptember 2023

In the ‘Good Question’ section, experts express their opinion on topics that stir up the hospitality industry. Short and sweet. The question on today’s menu: Veggie all the way – what’s the real benefit? Can we protect the climate with plant-based eating?

Ulrich Glemnitz,

founder and owner of the restaurant Bunte Burger, is convinced that the hospitality industry can help break down prejudices against plant-based eating.

‘The hospitality industry alone can’t save the world. To do that, we need a majority of the population to help bring about a change towards other consumer habits. But we can lead the way with a good example, pique our guests’ curiosity and whet the appetite for changes and adjustments at home.
We restaurateurs can engage and inspire people with the simplest of means: good food. When we serve something delicious that’s also vegetarian or even vegan, we break down prejudices and build bridges. Vegetables usually have a good environmental footprint and also offer an incredible variety of flavours. The right dishes can plant the seed in someone’s mind that they could also give purely plant-based dishes a try at home.’


Dr Kiran Virmani,

Scientific and Managing Director of the German Nutrition Society, firmly believes that a plant-based diet protects the environment and the climate.

‘The German Nutrition Society [Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung - DGE] recommends a varied and predominately plant-based diet. This promotes health and is less of a burden on the environment and the climate than the average typical diet in Germany – so her answer to the question is yes. In the production of plant-based foods – even those with replacement meat products – resource consumption and the emission of harmful greenhouse gases are lower than in the production of foods using animal products. The hospitality industry likewise contributes to climate protection and people’s health with plant-based and vegetarian dishes, as well as with seasonal and regional offerings. Plant-based eating is also increasingly popular. More and more people are reducing their consumption of animal-based foods, and this is becoming noticeable in the hospitality industry. The number of vegan restaurants in Germany has risen in recent years and the range of vegetarian and vegan dishes has become larger and more varied.’

Mariana Barracosa

is Junior Sourcing and Selling Expert for Plant-Based in the METRO Rotterdam Trading Office. She thinks plant-based meat replacement products are a good alternative.

‘Studies indicate that the optimum ratio of protein consumption for the wellbeing of our planet is 1/3 animal-based and 2/3 plant-based proteins. It’s thought that by 2050, 9.8 billion people will be living on our planet. For there to be sufficient food, worldwide production must increase by an estimated 60%. At the same time, the areas of land suitable for agriculture are decreasing because of climate change, urbanisation and soil degradation. So we need to change our eating habits if we want to feed all these people and keep our planet habitable at the same time. This includes eating fewer animal proteins and more plant-based alternatives.’

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