By Rebekah Moses, Head of Impact Strategy, Impossible Foods
April 22, 2020
Happy 50th Earth Day, earthlings!
To celebrate, we're launching this impact calculator to help you measure your environmental progress replacing beef from a cow with Impossible Burger.
Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the goals of early environmentalists appear even more relevant as the stakes have become higher and environmental interventions more urgent.
Collectively, we haven’t done nearly enough, or perhaps haven’t done a few select things differently enough. The existential threats of climate change, catastrophic collapse of wild animal populations, and water pollution loom larger than ever. At best, conservation legends and pioneers like Rachel Carson might give our level of planetary progress a grade of D-.
Yet here at Impossible Foods, we are more optimistic than ever -- and committed to spurring satellite-scale changes for planetary health through the food system.
Dr. Pat Brown founded Impossible Foods to bring a transformative environmental solution to the hands of billions. Plant-based meat is an elegant approach to conservation in that it addresses a whole breadth of planetary challenges (healthy climate, wildlife habitat, and clean water) in one go. Critically, our delicious, healthy meat from plants does not require the consumer to know or to care that choosing one pound of Impossible Burger over one pound of beef from a cow spares the equivalent of 90 gallons of water, 30 pounds of carbon, and 300 square feet of land per year from being unnecessarily wasted by a prehistoric, inefficient and needlessly destructive food system: livestock.
So the solution of Impossible Burger does not require you to know or to care that you’re helping create a greener and wilder future when you select plant-based over animal-based. But in the spirit of Earth Day and in the spirit of pioneers like Rachel Carson, we’d like to invite you to know, and to care, and to act, and to measure anyway.
Learning and knowing collectively that our food system needs to change (and that it can change with the right solutions) will accelerate the original goal of Earth Day.
This Impact Calculator will translate your choice to substitute burgers from cows with burgers from plants into environmental impacts avoided. It doesn’t tell the whole story of the environmental benefits of a plant-based transition, or the enormous costs of relying on animals for food, but we hope you use it to chart your own personal environmental progress and share that progress to motivate others to do the same.
Please use, share, and explore even more ways that your individual actions can create changes toward a healthier planet that can be seen from space (in a good way).
And remember: It’s vitally important to eat Impossible Burger or another plant-based alternative instead of beef to realize these savings and see them reflected in the natural world over time. If you are otherwise food-secure, don’t supplement your diet -- replace that animal-derived beef with Impossible (or with beans, or tofu, or anything else plant-based, for that matter), and watch the benefits grow.
For more information, be sure to read this blog post from earlier this year on the immense positive impact of small actions.
Rebekah Moses leads impact strategy at Impossible Foods, a company addressing climate change and sustainable food futures through plant-based meat. Prior to joining IF, she has worked at the intersection of ecology, agriculture, and international development in the Middle East and domestically.