UBAThe future in sight: Meat of the future – Trend report assessing the environmental impact of plant-based meat substitutes, edible insects and in vitro meat

Recommended reading

Tobias Jetzke, Stephan Richter, Benno Keppner, Lena Domröse, Stephanie Wunder & Arianna Ferrari

Release date:
June 2020

German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA), brochure

Meat has come under increasing criticism in recent years. Meat substitutes are becoming more and more popular in Germany and could become a genuine alternative. In its study 'Meat of the future', the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) has now examined what effects the three emerging alternatives to meat, such as plant-based meat substitutes, edible insects and in vitro meat, will have on the environment and health, and how they could impact future nutrition.

The study shows that plant-based meat substitutes perform best with regards to the environment. That is, compared to beef, their production process generates up to one tenth less greenhouse gases as well as water and land consumption. Insect-based meat substitutes perform slightly worse. The environmental and health effects of in vitro meat are difficult to assess so far. Further research is needed to be able to produce acutal 'clean meat' for the mass market.

Link to publication