So it turns out tofu and all these other vegan foods are ruining the planet

So what exactly can I eat?

So it turns out almond milk is actually really damaging the planet. It’s putting tonnes of pressure on bees causing them to die and 130 pints of water are needed to produce just one glass of wholesome almond milk.

And now you thought ok well I’ll change to oat milk and I’m still being really good to the planet because I eat tofu instead of chicken. Well turns out tofu is pretty bad too.

A new study by Dr. Graham McAuliffe has revealed tofu could be more harmful to the planet than chicken, beef and pork. Speaking at the National Farmers Union Dr. Graham McAuliffe of the Rothamsted Institute said after researching  tofu, he’d concluded it potentially causes more environmental damage because of the production to make the processed protein source.

He said: “But if you look at tofu, which is processed so there is more energy going into its production, when you correct for the fact that the protein in it is not as digestible compared to the meat-based products, you can see that it could actually have a higher global warming potential than any of the mono gastric animals.

“To get the same amount of protein, tofu is worse.”​

Image credit: yuelanliu / Pixabay Licence

Tofu has also been found as damaging for the environment by the WWF 10 years ago. They found that the production of soya, which is what tofu is made out of, increases dependence on imported commodities. Aka the more tofu we use, the more gets shipped/flown over and produces more carbon emissions. A lot of the tofu we consume in the UK is produced in Japan, the US and the Netherlands. So a lot of emissions getting produced just so you can feel like an environmental hero.

It’s not just tofu and milk substitutes which seem to be a lot worse for the planet than we originally thought.

Here are all the vegan products which are not actually ethical or great for the environment:


Where would the basic bitches be without their precious avocado toast brunches? Well in a more environmentally sustainable world for one. The production of avocados requires a lot of water, more than double that of oranges. The increase in popularity has also meant more land has been cleared to plant more avocado trees.

And then there’s the carbon footprint of transporting all the avocados. The UK, US and Canada are some of the biggest consumers of avocados and yet these countries usually don’t grow them and so the transportation from South America is producing some major carbon emissions.

tofu vegan food avocado

The production of avocados is also causing a rise in gang warfare. Various cartels in Mexico have decided to capitalise on the growing avocado trend and demand money from farmers for ‘protection’. If the farmers don’t agree to give a share of their profits, many farms are burnt down by gangs.

Cashew nuts in vegan cheese

Cashews are one of the most popular nuts and they’re also used to make a lot of vegan cheeses. However the harvesting of cashews has been revealed to be extremely unethical. The majority of cashews come from India where workers have to prize the cashew out from its shell.

But between the actual cashew and the outer shell are cardol and anacardic acids which cause significant burns to workers’ hands. They usually don’t wear gloves, as this slows work down and as they are paid per kilo, the workers cannot afford to shell the cashews at a slower pace.

tofu vegan food cheese

Palm oils

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will know that palm oil is in nearly everything and is really bad for the planet. Palm oil is used in a lot of foods that vegans rely on like nut butters, vegan cheese, vegan butters etc.

The production of palm oil is one of the major contributors to deforestation which is endangering a number of species and produces millions of greenhouse gases.


Quinoa is a stable carb for vegans and Waitrose mummies alike, it also looks like tiny little condoms. The increase in popularity has caused an increase in price and the native growers in Bolivia can no longer afford to eat the crop they grow.

tofu vegan food

Coconut everything

Flour, milk, sugar, oil. Coconut is in literally everything. Obviously we don’t grow coconuts in the UK and neither do a lot of countries. Meaning again we have to incur a lot of carbon emissions in order to get coconutty goodness. Not only that, but the increase in demand has led to farmers having to use chemical fertilisers to insure productivity of the soil.

What are the vegans going to eat now?

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Here are 21 simple things you can do at uni to help the environment right now

What your choice of milk substitute says about your general vibe

PSA: Drinking almond or coconut milk is really, really bad for the planet