We’re climatarians!

 We’re climatarians!

We’ve finally found the word that wonderfully describes our approach to food: we’re climatarians!

Cambridge Dictionary defines a climatarian is someone who makes consistent choices to eat according to what would be the least impactful and harmful to the planet. Unless you’re a climate scientist, that’s easier to say than to do, but the principles are clear, and they practice what many people who are mindful of living lightly have long adopted: eliminate unsustainable food sources and any foods with a high carbon footprint (imported or grown in heated greenhouses). Where you can, grow your own salads and herbs; cook from scratch; shop and eat local, seasonal, and regenerative options; and adopt zero-waste as much as possible.

The other thing to do is to slow down on meat consumption. Scientists estimate that of the 35% of the greenhouse gasses caused by food production, meat production is responsible for more than double that of fruits, grains and greens combined. It is estimated that a market shift of only 20% away from traditional beef consumption could lead to a drop of 50% in annual deforestation figures by 2050. If you need a label for reducing meat consumption, here it is: reducetarian. But we’ll stick to the same principles: when choosing meat, choose meat that is ethically raised, locally produced, and if not organic, at least free range.


Fermentation shows great promise as a major disruptor of food systems, and a solution for climatarians.

The process through which we are able to produce animal proteins without the involvement of animals is known as precision fermentation, and has, for instance, led to the successful replication of the fatty acids providing animal meat with its distinctive taste. It’s this kind of thing that substantially narrows the gap between animal-based and plant-based food products.

Critical to climatarians’ thinking is that the production process is less water- and land- intensive.

The development of plant-based alternatives to animal products is taking off: the industry is estimated to grow from its current market value of US$1.6 billion to a projected value of US$36.3 billion by 2030.

The new frontier, predictably enough, is making the plant-based alternatives cost-equivalent; and this battle is being waged in the courts of synthetic milk production. One food company in Australia, for instance, has pledged that it will be able to match the price of synthetic milk to that of cow’s milk by 2030, and to do so in volumes that will disrupt the dairy industry. As more than 80% of the global population makes use of dairy products regularly, this is, as far as the dairy world is concerned, war.

As people who love a good braai (including cheese and tomato braaibroodjies), we’re interested to see how this plays out.