WWF Shopping Guide Good or bad meat in the supermarket?
Fewer and fewer people want to eat meat or sausages from mass animal husbandry. But how should consumers find out where the meat came from. Was the pig happy or was the sausage made from an ecological point of view? A new WWF shopping guide will help answer the questions. But that is not enough for some consumer advocates.
Meat can be a valuable food. But not only health reasons speak for a conscious meat consumption, also the environment profits. Most genetically modified soya ends up in the feeding troughs. Soy is grown predominantly in monocultures, with negative environmental effects. Added to this are the use of pesticides or the pollution of groundwater.
What does "less meat" mean? And how do you define "better meat"? For health reasons, the German Nutrition Society recommends a maximum of 300 to 600 g of meat per week. The average per capita consumption in Germany is currently twice as high. Keeping in mind the ecological limits of our planet, it should not exceed 300 grams per person per week. In order to guarantee the everyday usability of the consumer recommendations, different production methods, labels and classes of goods were screened and arranged according to a traffic light system. This results in three categories: good choice, second choice, dear not.
Ecological impacts such as CO2 emissions, the required area or the loss of biodiversity were particularly weighted, but animal husbandry or medication were also included in the assessments.
This shopping guide is the short version of the comprehensive recommendations and investigations by WWF Germany on meat consumption. More detailed information and background information at www.wwf.de/fleisch or www.iamnature.de
A good choice
Products with the EU organic label fulfill the principles of ecological and animal-friendly agriculture according to European standards. Overall, the environmental impacts of organic farming are much more positive than those of conventional agriculture. The animals usually have a more diversified environment with daylight and fresh air and more space than conventional animal husbandry. There are far fewer painful procedures such. As done the tail docking in pigs. Meat and sausage with association organic labels such as Bioland, Demeter, Naturland, Biopark and Biokreis fulfill other additional criteria in addition to the EU minimum requirements. For example, only a few additives are allowed in food processing. In the EU, 316 additives are authorized, for organic products about 50 substances - eg. B. Bioland uses only 23 of these helpers. Wild EU meat from sustainable, regulated hunting is a reasonable use of natural resources and has little negative environmental impact (as well as fallow-footed fallow deer). Game meat is a niche product but can contribute to a good mix of meat consumption.
Second choice: If there is no other way
The Neuland seal prescribes significantly higher animal husbandry standards than conventionally used. The animals have an outlet to the open air and can lie on straw. It is based on GMO-free soy and domestic feed, but a production of feed according to organic criteria is not required. The use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture is still allowed. GOOD CHOICE Regional pasture meat is mostly feed-free and therefore resource-friendly. Also in animal husbandry, it is clearly superior to the conventional mast. However, there is no single certification system or seal, so it ends up in the yellow box. If pasture meat is also such, it is highly recommended. If in doubt, ask or visit the company itself during a trip to the countryside!
Prefer not to access
Conventionally produced meat and sausage products have enormous ecological effects. The cultivation of forage plants, v. a. Soya in South America leads to massive deforestation of valuable forests and thus to a large loss of biodiversity and high greenhouse gas emissions. In Germany, nutrient surpluses from livestock pollute waters and biodiversity. In addition, the requirements for animal husbandry are insufficient because the animals do not have enough space and opportunities to live their natural behaviors. Conventional meat brand labels often suggest small-scale idyl, have i.d.R. However, these are not significant additional requirements with ecological added value and are usually pure marketing instruments. Conventional meat and sausage products with QS labels do not meet ecological sustainability criteria and only minimum animal husbandry requirements. Imported "air or ship" products such as wild or sheep meat from New Zealand or beef from Argentina is associated with high CO 2 emissions and therefore can not be recommended.