Why eating pig’s feet and cow’s stomach can help save the planet

How often do you eat meat? Once a week? Every day?

If it’s the latter, your diet is having a huge impact on the planet.

You’ve probably heard that the best way to fight climate change is to reduce your meat intake, but if you’re not ready to go full vegan, a new study has found that you can slash polluting emissions by swapping your steak for animal organs.

The meat industry accounts for 14.5% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the transport sector’s direct carbon output.

Despite growing awareness of its negative environmental impacts, we are producing and eating more meat than ever.

But even meat-lovers can help slash emissions by cutting down on meat waste and adopting a “nose to tail” diet, which aims to use every part of the animal.

According to a study published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, swapping beef ribs and pork chops for offal, internal organs and pig’s trotters could lead to a drastic reduction in emissions.

If 50% less offal was thrown away during the slaughtering process and consumed as food instead, emissions could fall by 14%, according to lead author Professor Gang Liu of the University of Southern Denmark.

There is “huge potential [to lower emissions] by eating more byproducts and reducing waste along the supply chain,” Liu said.

“This way you could use meat more efficiently,” he said, adding that in many Asian countries eating meat byproducts, such as tripe and lungs, is common.

Trevor Gulliver, who co-founded the first nose-to-tail restaurant, St. John, in London, said Western countries “waste horrendous amounts of food with all the potentially catastrophic effects of that.”

“Offal opens up the sense of the whole beast to the Western world, gives greater value to those cuts and brings back greater skills into our kitchens,” he said.


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