Animal agriculture is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions with beef cattle alone contributing about 3%.

When we’re speaking with potential customers, partners and investors we’re often asked — “You don’t produce your Fable products locally, how does your international supply chain affect your carbon emissions and how do they compare to locally sourced beef?”

It’s a great question to ask and our planet needs more people asking questions like these.

The answer is clear. What you eat has many orders of magnitude more impact than where it comes from.

I’m sharing the detail behind this conclusion here so our team and I can easily point people to it. It’s Fable specific but as you’ll see, the logic can easily be applied to many different types of food and there’s a lot more great information in this article.

We have two Fable products on the market:

  1. Our Meaty Mushroom Burger which can replace a beef burger; and
  2. Our Meaty Pulled Mushrooms which can replace slow cooked meats like braised beef, beef brisket and pulled pork.

So how do the emissions of our products compare to locally sourced beef?

Emissions from Beef

1kg of beef emits 60kg of CO2 equivalents.

16kg of this comes from land use change (beef cattle require a large amount of land to graze on or to grow the crops to feed them if they’re lot fed).

39kg comes from on farm emission from grazing, much of it in the form of methane. Cow’s are ruminants and produce (burp) methane when digesting their food.

Then the remaining 5kg comes from a combination of on farm emissions for additional feed production (1.9kg), processing (1.3kg), transport (0.3kg), retail (0.2kg) and packaging (0.2kg).

This excellent chart summarises this information for beef and many other food types. You can access the full data here.

Fable Emissions

Our primary ingredient is mushrooms. Growing 1kg of mushrooms produces 0.7kg of CO2 equivalent emissions. That’s 85x less than beef and 10x less than pork.

Both of our products have very similar ingredients, factoring in the other ingredients — primarily coconut oil and soy protein, the ingredients in our product emit approximately 2.3kg of CO2 equivalent emissions for each 1kg of finished product.

Calculating the CO2 emissions from transportation along our longest route — Malaysia to London, 1kg of chilled cargo emits 0.09kg of CO2 equivalents. Doubling this to factor in that not all of our ingredients are sourced in Malaysia, transportation adds another 0.18kg of CO2 equivalent emissions.

We engaged Pathzero to help us review our emissions from production and our internal operations and this adds another 0.15kg.

So in total, we land at 2.63kg of CO2 equivalent emissions per 1kg of Fable product, 23 times less than beef.

And of course it tastesgreat!

This post by Climate Salad member, Michael Fox originally appeared in Medium

Title image Photo by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

And thumbnail by Photo by Sonny Mauricio on Unsplash

Oct 6, 2021

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