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Protein With World's Lowest Carbon Footprint

For those who want to ensure that their diet has minimal impact on climate, the choice is clear, and it isn’t faux meat. Wild Alaskan pollock has the lowest carbon footprint of any major protein source in the world.

The finding, based on a life-cycle assessment (LCA) by the leading sustainability consultancy firm Quantis, is remarkable for many reasons. Not just because it highlights that wild Alaskan pollock is the most consumed whitefish in Europe, and the third most consumed fish in the U.S. That's obviously good news; but the news gets even better.

The Association of Genuine Alaskan Pollock Producers produce more wild caught fish for consumption than any other single fishery in the world at 3.3 billion pounds per year. Remarkably, pollock from Alaska provides for the entire global supply of McDonald’s filet-of-fish sandwiches, as well as the bulk supply of European processed fish products like fish fingers in England, schlemmer-filets in Germany, and kibling in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, pollock is the number-one source for surimi, or imitation crab, in Asia and most of the world’s sushi and hotpot restaurants, having cornered the market for products like kamabuko - fish balls for traditional Chinese hotpot - and the California roll.

Astonishingly, all this supply and demand can be achieved annually with just 15 percent of the total stock of fish. So, it's completely sustainable too!

The Quantis LCA, which took account of every measurable speck of energy used to produce a frozen piece of pollock, found that all the aforementioned staples can be provided to the world for around 3.7 kg of CO2 or equivalents per kg of pollock, which is substantially-less than any terrestrial protein source, less even than eggs, and one-fifth of the CO2 produced from making the Impossible Burger or other fake meats.

So, now you know.


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