Is this the greenest meal in the UK? ...and it's vegan!

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» Is this the greenest meal in the UK? ...and it's vegan!

We have today (World Environment Day) revealed what we believe is the lowest carbon curry ever created – and it’s, of course, entirely vegan.

A 13lbs (6kg) portion of yellow split pea, potato and cauliflower curry will be served with flatbread at the Headquarters of Friends of the Earth to launch our Plate Up for the Planet campaign.

The recipe uses 4.4lbs (2kg) yellow split peas, 4.4lbs (2kg) potatoes and will feed 50 people for just over £20, with its carbon footprint calculated to be a mere 8.92kg CO2e.

A non-vegan version of this recipe – a beef and lentil curry – would have an estimated carbon footprint of 130.56kg CO2e, a whopping 15 times more than the vegan equivalent.

A portion of the vegan curry with naan
A portion of the vegan curry, possibly the lowest carbon curry ever created.

Each portion costs just 43p to make and contains around 16g protein, 3.6g fat, 51.8g carbohydrates and 288 calories.

The dish will be cooked by a plant-based chef Simon Bishop, who has a background in Michelin level cookery and currently works in the education sector consulting on the benefits of plant-based nutrition in schools.

Simon said: “We are excited to show people how much of a difference they can make simply by changing the way they eat.

“Our curry is delicious, sustainable, nutritious, cheap and easy to make – it’s the ultimate meal across all dimensions.

“It is widely recognised that a plant-based diet is the most sustainable way of eating, and we want to spread this important message by showing people how quickly and easily they can prepare vegan meals without the need to use heavily processed ingredients.”

Since turning to a plant-based diet 18 months ago, Simon has lost 11 stone by eliminating all animal products from his diet whilst using his knowledge of nutrition and cookery to provide a balanced diet.

plant-based chef Simon Bishop before transitioning to a vegan dietplant-based chef Simon Bishop after transitioning to a vegan diet
Simon before (left) and after (right) transitioning to a vegan diet.

The environmental impact of the meal was calculated using the greenhouse gas food footprint calculator, which can also compare the total to the number of equivalent car miles.

The tool allows detailed analysis of the environmental impact of a meal, and even considers the origin of the ingredients.

The food serving event is part of our Plate Up for the Planet campaign which encourages people to start their vegan journey by eating vegan for a week.

It is complete with a meal plan and colourful recipes, containing information about the environmental impact of each of the meals compared to a non-vegan equivalent.

Louise Davies, Head of Campaigns, Policy and Research at The Vegan Society, said: “Scientific evidence tells us that animal agriculture is incredibly damaging to our planet and that a plant-based diet is the most sustainable way of eating.

“We need to be far bolder with our food choices if we are to protect our precious planet, and our Plate Up for the Planet campaign encourages people to do just that.

“Cooking vegan food can be a fun experience and, as Simon’s curry recipe demonstrates, it doesn’t need to be time-consuming or expensive.”

Friends of the Earth, which works to protect our planet and promotes sustainability, will be hosting the event on World Environment Day.

Clare Oxborrow, Food and Farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Given the huge environmental impacts of meat and dairy, it makes sense for all of us to reassess our diets for the benefit of the climate, nature and farmed animals.

“We also need the government and food industry to make it much easier for people to access healthy, sustainable diets.

“Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or an omnivore, everyone can enjoy more veg-based meals. Cheaper, great for the planet and your health, and tasty too - what’s not to love?”

Going vegan can reduce your food-related emissions by up to 50%, yet only a fifth of Brits are aware that farming cows and sheep results in climate change.

Last year, the 11,500 Plate Up for the Planet participants saved the same amount of carbon dioxide as is needed to fly to the moon and back.

The lowest carbon curry event kicks off the campaign roadshow, which will visit offices, media outlets and environmental charities all over the UK to spread the vegan message.

Sign up to Plate Up for the Planet and start your vegan journey at

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