By Julia Shanahan | September 27th, 2019
Fast food chains across North America are experimenting with meatless patties amid a growing concern about environmental repercussions imposed by the meat industry.
McDonald’s will begin selling plant-based patties at select locations in Canada next week, a plant, lettuce, and tomato patty known as Beyond Meat. Tim Hortons, KFC, and Dunkin Brands have also experimented with Beyond Meat patties. According to a report from Reuters, since Beyond Meat was listed on the stock market in May, its shares have roughly tripled in value.
McDonald’s announcement comes after Burger King rolled out its own version of a plant-based burger, coined the Impossible Whopper.
A recent UN report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change outlined the meat industry’s effects on the changing climate. According to the report, 4 percent of the food sold by weight in the U.S. is beef, which accounts for 36 percent of food-related emissions. The report adds that cattle is the leading source in livestock emissions, amounting to an estimate of 65-77 percent.
The report warned that if nothing is reformed in industrial agriculture, emissions from this production could increase 30-40 percent by 2050. In an analysis from Greenpeace, 23 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are a result of agriculture and land use.
Iowa remains the country’s leading producers of pork and large hog operations continue to rapidly increase. Waste management and water quality has been an ongoing issue for the farm state as a result of large farm operations.