So the real question becomes…
What is the actual environmental impact of mozzarella?
You will need a gallon (3.8 litres) of full fat milk to make just about 600g (1.3lbs) of fresh mozzarella. That’s a lot of milk, produced by lot’s of methane belching cows… A very recent analysis shows “that 1 kg of animal-based foods generate between 10 times and 50 times as much greenhouse-gas impact as plant-based products. Within animal products “beef, lamb and cheese have, respectively, 10 times, 4 times and 3 times as much carbon impact as pork and poultry does.”
With this in mind yes mozzarella does have a high carbon footprint, higher than poultry or pork. Sadly if you’re looking to lowering your carbon footprint a curb in your mozzarella intake will have to ensue. In the transition period perhaps sourcing it from a sustainable local farm is the best option so far, one who has a commitment to healthy soil and hasn’t been involved in land degradation or deforestation (which thankfully in Italy these farms seem to be commonplace).
Yes I know letting go of cheese isn’t easy, but small changes like limiting it to 3 days a week can still have a big impact on the environment.
Hopefully soon someone will launch a start-up on cultured cheese?
Until then fingers crossed!
Article by: Isabella Cavalletti