For sustainable society


The plant-based meatball from IKEA

Meatballs are a traditional home-cooked Swedish dish that is eaten anywhere including school cafeterias, parties and other occasions. Meatballs are so popular even the interior brand IKEA began selling them and created a stronger image of meatballs as a Swedish treasure.

Ikea has announced a new type of meatball for fans all around the world – the plant-based meatball. The concept of the meat ball is to use raw materials derived from plants, fruits and vegetables instead of meat. The main raw materials are proteins derived from yellow peas and oats, potatoes, onions, and apples. The plant-based meatballs have a look, taste, and texture that is almost identical to meat based meatballs. IKEA says that it has developed plant-based meatballs as a more sustainable alternative to meatballs in order to help achieve the goals desired through sustainable foods.

What does it mean when one says that regular meatballs are not sustainable? This refers to the issue of the main ingredient – beef. Large amount of energy and water is consumed in the process of rearing, dismantling and transportation of beef cattle. As well as that, cattle farts and burps contain methane gas, which has 23 times the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide, which is released into the atmosphere. By all means, beef production has significant environmental impact from a scientific point of view.

Over 1 billion meat-based meatballs are sold each year, but if 20% of those are replaced with plant-based meat balls the carbon footprint could be reduced by approximately 8%. IKEA is planning to reduce its’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Plant-based meatballs are also recommended for those who are living a vegetable-based life style. However, mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam, and cream sauce, which are assembled according to Swedish tradition, still contain animal-derived ingredients, therefore not all the ingredients are suitable for vegetarians nor vegans. The selling price plans to remain the same as the price for meat-based meatballs.
Sales in Japan are scheduled to start in October.

“In order to reduce climate footprint, IKEA plans to reduce the amount of staple meatballs. Plant-based meatballs make meat lovers more sustainable,” said Charla Halverson, IKEA’s global food business manager. “We now have more options available.”
To continue building a sustainable society, rather than just criticizing the status of it, large companies need to propose a new lifestyle ideas for its’ consumers and help change everyday habits in order to broaden sustainable lifestyle.

Photo:Adobe Stock

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