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Alt-Protein: Eating away climate change?

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An EUobserver magazine exploring the transition to a more climate-friendly diet.

ALT-PROTEIN Plants get

ALT-PROTEIN Plants get boost from new food security worries In Europe, affordability of food rather than access to food is a concern. Plant-based diets could make the entire system more sustainable, including prices. By ESZTER ZALAN Moving to a plant-based diet in the EU and the UK could replace almost all the production losses from Russia and Ukraine, according to research. Source: Ella Olson The war in Ukraine brought into sharp focus that food security is not a given. Not even in Europe. Countries highly-dependent on imports of Ukrainian and Russian cereals, like Egypt, Turkey and Middle East, faced shortages — which Russian propaganda has used to undermine the West’s sanctions policy. While the shocks to the food system caused by the war mostly impacted countries outside of Europe, there is increasing concern about affordable food in the EU too. Food prices have continued to rise, despite inflation dropping for a second consecutive month in December 2022, according to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency. The inflation of food prices in the EU was 18.2 percent in December, with the highest price rise seen in Hungary at nearly 50 percent, Lithuania with 33.5 percent, followed by Estonia with 30.8 percent. “Food security effects are minor, in an international perspective. […] Availability of food in the EU is not impaired. Foodprice inflation has been high, so affordability is critical for the poorest households,” Rico Ihle from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands told MEPs last October. He added that the EU was able to boost its wheat exports, contributing to smoothing the global scarcity caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – with both countries being important exporters. “The EU has been shown in simulations of the World Bank to be the largest global winner in terms of gains in export revenues due to the explosion of prices, but it is a net loser due to massive energy imports,” Ihle explained. 15

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