Reusing the Reusable

If you’ve ever wondered how much you have to reuse that cotton bag tote for it to be worth it, a new Danish study has found out the figures:

• Bleached paper bags: Reuse for grocery shopping at least 1 time for climate change, at least 43 times considering all indicators; reuse as waste bin bag if possible, otherwise incinerate.
• Organic cotton bags: Reuse for grocery shopping at least 149 times for climate change, at least 20000 times considering all indicators; reuse as waste bin bag if possible, otherwise incinerate.
• Conventional cotton bags: Reuse for grocery shopping at least 52 times for climate change, at least 7100 times considering all indicators; reuse as waste bin bag if possible, otherwise incinerate.

Carry on.

‘Climate Change and the American Diet’

A new study from Yale’s ‘Program on Climate Change Communication’ came out with some interesting statistics. I’d click the link and futz around a bit, but I think these were the juiciest parts:

More than nine in ten Americans (94%) say they are willing to eat more fruit and vegetables, and six in ten (62%) say they are “very” willing to do so. More than half of Americans (55%) say they are willing to eat more plant-based meat alternatives (products made with vegetables such as soy, potatoes, peas, etc.) and 54% say they are willing to eat less red meat (beef, lamb, pork).

More than four in ten Americans say they are willing to use dairy alternatives (soy milk, almond milk, etc.) instead of dairy-based milk or cream (46%) and/or to consume less dairy (42%).

One in four Americans (26%) say they are willing to eat lab-grown meat rather than meat taken from animals.

Those are the nuts and bolts of ‘The Now’ of plant-based eating. People are interested — when they understand the effects of diet on the climate and its overall taste improves. People are willing to eat more plant-based meats when they cost less than real meat. Subsidies are too important here. Beef and dairy are subsidized in a way that essentially is like giving steroids to Goliath.

These are all good signs and honestly better than I expected. For your ‘TL;DR’, their executive summary is available here.

(via VegNews)


Anna Starostinetskaya for VegNews:

Prior to January, Veganuary estimated that 350,000 people would pledge to go vegan this year—which would save one million animals from slaughter, according to research carried out by University of Oxford researcher James Poore.More than 400,000 people pledged to go vegan in January as part of the Veganuary campaign—a sharp increase from last year’s 250,310 pledges. […]

Prior to January, Veganuary estimated that 350,000 people would pledge to go vegan this year—which would save one million animals from slaughter, according to research carried out by University of Oxford researcher James Poore.

‘Nearly One in Four in U.S. Have Cut Back on Eating Meat’

Justin McCarthy and Scott Dekoster for Gallup:

Nearly one in four Americans (23%) report eating less meat in the past year than they had previously, while the vast majority (72%) say they are eating the same amount of meat. […]

Certain groups are more likely than others to say they have eaten less meat in the past year:
• Women are about twice as likely as men to report having cut down on meat consumption.
• Nonwhites report having reduced meat in their diets at a higher rate than whites.
• Midwesterners are less likely to be reducing their meat consumption than adults in other parts of the country.
• About one in four residents of cities and suburbs have reduced their meat consumption, while residents in rural areas are less likely to report having done so.

This follows the report that 4 in 10 had reported trying plant-based meats in 2019.

‘Four in 10 Americans Have Eaten Plant-Based Meats’

Forty-one percent of Americans report having personally tried a plant-based meat, with age being the biggest factor in whether they have done so. About half of adults younger than 50, versus 26% of those 65 and older, have eaten a plant-based meat.

Income and age had the largest effect in their report. And most who tried them reported they would try them again.

‘The fastest-growing vegan demographic is African Americans. Wu-Tang Clan and other hip-hop acts paved the way.’

Laura Reiley for the Washington Post:

A 2016 Pew Research Center survey found 3 percent of American adults overall identified as vegan and only 1 percent of Hispanic Americans. That number jumps to a startling 8 percent among African American adults. In Gallup’s latest findings on consumers’ meat-eating changes, which will be published Monday, whites reported eating 10 percent less meat in the past 12 months while people of color reported eating 31 percent less.

I think this is spot on. And I think rappers being vocal about it has shifted the conversations and connections within their communities.

‘Bloomberg Data Dash: A Live Climate Scoreboard for the World’

These are the numbers that matter. A difficult global transition is happening right now, away from fossil fuels, deforestation, greenhouse-gas pollution and melting ice. It can be measured with precision and clarity. The processes described by this data dashboard are occurring on a planetary scale, and yet our progress can be measured this minute, in parts per million, in metric tons, in fractions of a degree. This is Bloomberg Green’s guide to the worldwide goal of slowing and stopping warming temperatures. This is a record of how far we have to go, and a tool to assess how much we can change.

An interesting guide to measuring what’s happening on earth and part of their new, more environmentally-focused side Bloomberg Green.

‘This Is The Real Reason Colleges Are Going Vegan’

Christopher Elliott for Forbes:

The latest PETA Vegan Report Card, which grades schools on plant-based dining options, found the number of vegan-friendly college campuses is at an all-time high. The number of schools that earned an “A” or “B” grade peaked at 709, compared to just 189 when the report card debuted in 2013, according to the organization.

For many people, this could be their first exposure to vegan food — and although college campuses aren’t going to be the finest cuisine it’s a great first step. Exposure is the first step to normalizing, and I love this growth.


From Josefina Salomon at

Six out of every 10 Argentines are considering giving up beef and going vegan, according to a recent study by the country’s Institute for the Promotion of Beef. Martí, now 63 and head of the Argentine Vegetarian Union, remembers that, in 2000, he knew only one other vegan. A poll his organization commissioned found that 9 percent of Argentina’s population is either vegetarian or vegan at the moment.  

Finding a vegetarian or vegan restaurant is no longer a challenge, at least in the country’s main cities. Buenos Aires alone has at least 70 exclusively vegan restaurants. The capital’s colorful walls are plastered with messages and banners demanding the protection of animals and the yearly VeganFest is becoming increasingly popular. Many local celebrities are turning their backs on animal products (soccer megastar Lionel Messi has said he switches to a vegan diet during tournament season).

Health concerns and worries about climate change — drivers of veganism globally — are playing out in Argentina too. But there’s an additional factor pushing people away from meat and animal products: the country’s economic crisis and nearly 50 percent annual inflation. The latest report from Argentina’s Chamber of Commerce for Beef and Its Derivatives found that consumption of meat products has decreased to its lowest point in the last 50 years.

It’s interesting to see how veganism enters certain countries. I feel like there are a handful of reasons that dominate most shifts: financial cost, health, or considerations for the environment (animal welfare included), and sometimes religion.

Though most of Argentina is moving to save money, something like this means more people could be trying vegan food for the first time and will hopefully become more interested. Maybe they’ll try to adapt family recipes or try new dishes — both which open a new way of approaching food to them. Hopefully it’s enough to keep them coming back periodically for plant-based foods once they can afford beef again.

‘What can Twitter tell us about our neighborhood’s health?’

H. Claire Brown for the New Food Economy:

Those connections yielded a finding the researchers called “intriguing”: Higher-income neighborhoods—defined in this study as the proportion of people making more than $75,000 a year—tended to tweet less positively about food, whether healthy or unhealthy.

Tweets from lower-income neighborhoods—those where a higher proportion of people made less than $75,000 a year—tended to show something different. “A lot of people like to talk about food and have strong opinions about food,” Vydiswaran says. This led to a new hypothesis to explore, that “food may be an isolated source of enjoyment in otherwise difficult lives.”

The researchers also made a curious discovery: Neighborhoods with more young people were less likely to tweet positively about unhealthy foods. This seemingly counterintuitive finding could auger well for future research.