Episode 6 – Who let the pigs out in Denmark?

Who, who, who, who let the pigs out in Denmark? In this month’s episode we talk about organic food production in Denmark. The country has the highest market share of organic food and an ambitious national organic food strategy to go along with it. At the same time, Denmark is also one of the biggest pork exporters worldwide and the companies in the business show no intention of scaling back anytime soon. In this episode, we explore how organic Denmark really is and dive into the topic of plant-based food.

Disclaimer: This is just our perspective on the structures around organic food production. We know that it is a very complex topic and by no means claim that we have understood it all or that Denmark is doing everything right or wrong. Feedback on this episode would be especially interesting

listen to our Podcast:

Main PointS

  • Agriculture accounts for 70% of our water usage [1] and is the world’s largest polluter. The meat industry accounts for nearly 60% of all greenhouse gas emissions [2]
  • According to Greenpeace, we should only consume 300g of meat per person, per week to live sustainably. Denmark consumes 1.5kg per person per week. [2]
  • Denmark produces 3x as much food as the country consumes with 75% of it being exported. Food exports in Denmark amount to 25% of their total exports. [3]
  • In 1987, Denmark became the first country in the world to get its own Organic law. [4]
  • In 2019, the Danish food industry set the ambitious goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050 [5]
  • Denmark is among the world’s leading pork exporters, with 90% of the pork being exported [6]
  • Danish Crown is one of the largest exporters and one of Europe’s largest producers of pork. They’re aiming to lower their climate impact by 50 without reducing meat production. [7]
  • The Danish agriculture and food council states that Denmark has one of the most sustainable and high quality meat productions that pay special attention to animal welfare and environmental friendliness of the production. [8]
  • The Danish Organic Model focused on 4 principles [8]
    • Ecology 
    • Health
    • Fairness 
    • Care

These principles ensure that the natural environment and biodiversity are preserved while carbon emissions are reduced. They also take into account animal welfare, use less chemicals and allow for more conscious consumption of food. To be successful, this approach requires the cooperation of different stakeholders and sectors. [8]

  • In 2021, Denmark announced a new climate agreement on green conversion of its agriculture, this included a  €168 million investment into plant-based foods. [9]
  • Moving to plant-based meat could reduce climate emissions by up to 90% compared with farming animals [10]

Advantages:

[11] Advantages of Plant based meat

 [11] Predictions of environmental impacts of plant based meat. 

Disadvantages:

  • Plant-based meats may be higher in sodium [12]
  • Vitamin/mineral deficiencies – however, these can be managed with a well-balanced diet [13]
  • Currently there is not enough research on the nutritious value of plant-based alternatives compared to animal products [14]

Sources

[1] https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/water-in-agriculture#1

[2] https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/challenges/meat-and-dairy/

[3] Invest Denmark: “With

More Than Half of all Danes Planning to Cut Down Meat Consumption, Denmark is

the Perfect Choice for Developing & Testing New Products” – vegconomist: the vegan business magazine

[4] Organic Farming and Food production in Denmark (foodnationdenmark.com)

[5] Climate neutral 2050 (agricultureandfood.dk)

[6] klima-2050-english.pdf

[7] https://www.danishcrown.com/en-gb/sustainability/

[8] Danish Pig Meat Industry (agricultureandfood.dk)

[9] Denmark Allocates 1 Billion Kroner To Accelerate Plant-Based Foods (plantbasednews.org)

[10]https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2021/11/24/Meat-consumption-dips-across-Europe-with-trend-setter-Denmark-at-back-end-of-the-pack

[11] https://gfi.org/resource/environmental-impact-of-meat-vs-plant-based-meat/

[12] https://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/are-plant-based-meat-alternatives-healthy/

[13]https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/british-dietetic-association-confirms-well-planned-vegan-diets-can-support-healthy-living-in-people-of-all-ages.html

[14] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2020.00128/full#h5

Other Episodes

Episode 5 – Healthcare in Kry-sis?

In this episode, we discuss the history of Malmö, its connection to Denmark and its transformation into an innovative and sustainable city. We also talk about our perceptions of the city and our experiences from our time there, including the ‘controversy’ surrounding Malmo-born Zlatan Ibrahimović and our love for falafel.

Keep reading

Episode 4 – Last Night in Malmö

In this episode, we discuss the history of Malmö, its connection to Denmark and its transformation into an innovative and sustainable city. We also talk about our perceptions of the city and our experiences from our time there, including the ‘controversy’ surrounding Malmo-born Zlatan Ibrahimović and our love for falafel.

Keep reading

Find us on our Social media channels