Can Vegan Pizza Really Help Save the Environment and You?

So, we wanted to clear up a few bits of info we’ve been dropping you over the past two years of OPP. Eagle eyed customers may have noticed we recently changed our boxes a little bit to give our lovely fans more information as to why we love to shout out about the good we think these pizzas do. Of course, we understand that the impact we have is still so small as we’re in the early days of the company but think about what little changes you could make if you’re yet to do so. Just small changes add up to a big one. I suppose you could argue what difference can one person do, but if 10 people made a change to buck the trend, it makes a bigger difference than you think!

Environmental Impact

Whether you want to believe it or not, cutting out meat and dairy from your diet means you can contribute up to 73% LESS greenhouse gasses (GHG) than a standard meat and dairy diet.  Scarborough et al. looked into the effects different diets had on GHG emissions back in 2014 with some fascinating results:

‘After adjustment for sex and age, an average 2,000 kcal high meat diet had 2.5 times as many GHG emissions than an average 2,000kcal vegan diet.’ (Scarborough et al., 2014, p186)

This research on its own may not be a huge pull for meat and dairy eaters, but what about water usage? It’s not just GHG emissions that need to be considered. Raising animals for food also uses a significant amount of water. In fact, ‘producing 1 kg of animal protein requires about 100 times more water than producing 1 kg of grain protein’ (Pimentel and Pimentel, 2003, p662s). In real terms, ‘grain-fed beef production takes 100,000 liters of water for every kilogram of food. In comparison, wheat [uses] 900’. (Pimentel, 2007)

Pastural farming can also contribute to the decline in water quality in the UK through a process called eutrophication. Eutrophication is when water has too many nutrients in it and is subsequently very harmful to plants and animals in the waterways before reaching coastal areas.

‘The rise in eutrophic and hypoxic events has been primarily attributed to the rapid increase in intensive agricultural practices… which together have increased nitrogen and phosphorus flows in the environment.’ (Selman et al., 2008, p2)

Selman and Greenhalgh found in 2009 that from 8 different primary sources and pathways of nutrients, livestock operations and agricultural fertilizers were the only sources that affected all three pathways: air, surface water and ground water (Selman and Greenhalgh, 2009, 2). Poor management of this excess in nutrients can contribute to the build-up that results in eutrophication.

‘The recycling of feed and crop nutrients in livestock manures… applied to land has also contributed additional amounts of reactive N[itrogen] and P[hosphorus] to soils that are poorly utilized’. (Withers et al., 2014, p5857)

Evidently, any reduction in the use of animal products in a diet can have a significant impact on the environment from a number of different angles. If enough people made these changes, it’s plausible to think that we could move towards healing the planet and allowing species to start flourishing again in their natural habitats.

Packaging

You may have seen us speak a couple of times about the environmental impact, or rather lack of, that our packaging has.

The box…

Our pizza box is made from recycled card and fully compostable meaning you can treat your garden to extra pizza goodness! Chuck the box in with your tea bags and veggie scraps to help your garden grow – consider it a long-term investment…? If you would like to know more about the company that supplies our boxes, you can check out their website here:

http://www.saxonpackaging.co.uk/about/environmental-recycling/

The wrap…

We are committed to contributing as little as possible to climate change and we are proud to say that the pizza wraps (the things that tell you the flavour) are carbon neutral! Anglia Print officially have sent zero waste to landfill since 2005 and are ‘one of only twelve printing companies in the whole of the UK to be EMAS (Eco Management & Audit Scheme) registered’. Find out more about Anglia Print and their Carbon Neutral status here:

http://www.angliaprint.co.uk/services

 

Pizzas and toppings

We love that fact that we are able to source the amazing veg that goes on your pizzas right here in Norwich through a family-run business called Easters. 

And of course, we do not use any animal products in the production process or final product. This makes for some really interesting reading when you compare the nutritional content of our pizzas compared to some market leading alternatives that do contain animal products.

The pizzas are also a great source of Omega-3! We use Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil, Flax Seed and crushed Chia Seeds to give you that extra boost of goodness without compromising on taste or ethics - winning! 

Obviously, we don’t want to name and shame any competitors if our pizzas are healthier… However, it is important to consider that the fundamentals for a Margherita, Mushroom, Hawaiian and Vegetable pizza are all fairly similar, so rough comparisons should be relatively safe to draw across other products. We compared 100g of the market leading pizzas for each of our range to 100g of our own and find that on average not only did we have 20% less fat and saturated fat, we also contained less than both half the salt and sugar the mainstream pizzas contained. Put down the water and pick up a cruelty free beer or wine! (We’re kidding of course, drink your water!)

Pizza Comparison.PNG

 

References

D. Pimentel. (2007). U.S. could feed 800 million people with grain that livestock eat, Cornell ecologist advises animal scientists. Available: http://news.cornell.edu/stories/1997/08/us-could-feed-800-million-people-grain-livestock-eat. Last accessed 31/7/2018.

D. Pimentel & M. Pimentel. (2003). Sustainability of Meat-Based and Plant-Based Diets and the Environment. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 78 (3), 662s.

P. Scarborough et al.. (2014). Dietary Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Meat-Eaters, Fish-Eaters, Vegetarians and Vegans in the UK. Climatic Change. 125 (2), 186.

M. Selman & S. Greenhalgh. (2009). Eutrophication: Policies, Actions, and Strategies to Address Nutrient Pollution. World Resources Institute. 3 (September), 2.

M. Selman et al. (2008). Eutrophication and Hypoxia in Coastal Areas: A Global Assessment of the State of Knowledge. World Resources Institute. 1 (March), 2.

P. J. A. Withers et al.. (2014). Agriculture and Eutrophication: Where Do We Go From Here? Sustainability. 6 (3), 5857.

 

Joe Hill