The story behind cheese and milk: 'We eat too much'

The story behind cheese and milk: 'We eat too much'

Just to reassure you: You don't have to stop eating a cheese sandwich or a bowl of yogurt for breakfast from today on. “But it's good to be aware of the effects of the products you're eating,” says professor of nutrition, public health and sustainability Peter van Veer from Wageningen University.

172 grams of milk per day

Fant Fair He conducted research on dairy consumption And the alternatives. It was concluded that a person who replaced animal dairy products with soy drinks, coconut milk or other plant-based alternatives in one day would save 16 percent in emissions and nearly 10 liters of water.

How much protein do you need?

On average, healthy people need 0.83 grams of protein per kilo per day. That is, about 58 grams of protein for a 70-kg person.

To clarify the matter further: a cup of milk contains 8.5 grams of protein, and a piece of beef weighing 80 grams contains 23.8 grams of protein. Here you can see what is included for each product.

On average, men between the ages of 19 and 50 consume between 91 and 98 grams of protein. Women ages 19 to 50 eat an average of 68 to 72 grams of protein.

Source: Nutrition Center

So we consume dairy products a little more than we need. But what about emissions? Which types of dairy products produce the most emissions, and which ones have the least?

In any case, a diet containing meat and dairy produces 25 to 30 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than a diet without meat and dairy, Van't Veer concluded.

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Cheese in particular scores highly when it comes to dairy and greenhouse gas emissions. In the overview below (source: Poore & Nemecek) you can see which products contribute the most to emissions. Red meat ranks high, but cheese ranks third on the list:

Van't Veer concluded that a diet containing meat and dairy products causes more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions than a diet containing no meat and dairy products. But we don't necessarily need to significantly reduce our consumption of dairy products, he says.

Milk instead of beef, this is possible

“Less meat? Yes, it's definitely necessary. Especially beef,” says Van't Veer. According to the professor, milk can be a good substitute for beef. “It's about eating high-quality proteins. They're found in milk.”

If you eat less beef and drink more milk, your climate impact will be smaller, too. Because as you can see above, beef is the product with the largest footprint.

Of course, you can also live without milk, as the vegetarians of our country prove, and Van't Veer also says. “But this requires attention and knowledge. It can certainly be done plant-based, so you have to look carefully at protein that is easy to digest. You have to look at formulations that are sensible.”

Substitute for milk

Formulas are important, but so is quantity. Because you should consume 30 percent more plant proteins than the animal version, nutritionist Suzanne Tweener previously told RTL News. It is less absorbed by the body.

Tuinier: “If you choose a plant-based version of milk, a soy drink is the best choice. And the widely sold oat- and coconut-based drinks actually contain very little protein.”

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Sustainable eating expert Pauline van der Geest, from information organization Milieu Centraal, says that of all the foods we consume at home, meat and dairy products are the biggest polluters when it comes to climate. “So you can make big strides there.”

But it also indicates health. “We use a lot of dairy products. There are risks associated with that. So much so that the Health Board recently did a study and said: 'It would be better for most people if they ate plant-based food more often.'

“Don't take cheese instead of chicken”

Van der Geest, like Van't Veer, notes that dairy products can also be healthy, but in moderation. She also has a message for people who want to do something to reduce consumption: “Look at what you're replacing it with. Cheese instead of chicken, or vice versa, for example, doesn't make sense in terms of emissions, and replacing it with legumes uses more grass.” On the dam.”

People often focus on awareness, van der Geest says. “Just try it for a day. Maybe it will give you a more spacious kitchen.”

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