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Germany: It's the end of the meat as we know it
  • Germany could feed an additional 70 million people if the Germans changed their diet and reduced the number of livestock by about 75%, Greenpeace researchers say.

    The study suggests a decrease in the consumption of animal products at the same time as the reduction in the number of animals in Germany. The Öko-​Institut is guided by the Planetary Healthy Diet (PHD) concept developed by the EAT Lancet. The report looks at ways to feed the world's growing population.

    According to the Öko-​Institut, reducing the number of animals by 75% will free up 40% of arable land, as there is no need to grow fodder. Recommendations include re-wetting 80% of swamps, decommissioning 10% of arable land and pastures to ensure biodiversity, and devoting 30% of the area to organic farming.

    The authors of the study propose to increase the supply of rapeseed, corn for grain, legumes, soybeans to 100% and vegetables to 67%. At the same time, CO₂ emissions will increase by 1.2 million tons due to greater use of fertilizers, the authors believe.

    Despite the increase in grain self-sufficiency, the Öko-Institut estimates that 40% of arable land will be able to grow food for export. This will feed 70 million people. If these areas are planted with forest, then according to the study, within 23 years, forests will absorb about 20.4 million tons of carbon.

    Changing the diet will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by 75%. Greenpeace claims that agriculture accounts for 13% of Germany's greenhouse gas emissions. According to researchers in agriculture, 80% of emissions come from animal husbandry.

    Greenpeace believes that the current consumption of meat in Germany is too high. Meat-eating, according to environmentalists, exacerbates the climate crisis and harms human health. The Germans will have to "feed themselves in a way that is good for them and the planet."

    “Now we are demanding a comprehensive response from politicians to achieve the goal of transitioning to nutrition in the coming years. We need to change the official dietary guidelines,” said Greenpeace agricultural expert Martin Hofstetter.