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Ever consider the environmental costs of the brie or salami on your Charcuterie board?

Charcuterie boards are often popular during the holidays, with many people putting it on the appetizer table to curb the pre-feast hunger. Do you know the environmental costs of all the cured meats and cheeses on the board?

The dairy industry requires incredible amounts of fresh water to produce the quantity of milk being consumed today. Milk in itself is 87% water, so for dairy cows to make milk they need to intake a high amount of water. In addition, dairy cows ultimately end up in the meat production line and require water to have a decent grade of meat. Livestock also has to consume a large amount of water to produce market grade meats.

chicken needs 4325 L to produce 1 kg of meat.

pork needs 5988 L to produce 1 kg of meat.

Beef needs 15 415 L produce 1 kg of meat.

In addition to consuming fresh water, fresh water sources can be negatively impacted by the livestock industry. If waste (manure+ urine) are not managed properly it can infiltrate the soil and contaminate groundwater supplies. Contamination occurs when phosphorus and nitrogen from waste/fertilizers leak into the groundwater supplies. Contamination can exceed the drinkable levels, which is concerning in the global clean water crisis. Cattle also are a large source of methane, just purely because of their natural digestive tracts. Cattle have micro-organisms in their stomach that aid in their digestions+ fermentation of fibre rich foods. The digestion and fermentation process results in the production of methane gases that are released by burps and flatulence.

How to replace these products?

Here are some suggestions for cheeses:


Tomme's Cheese Shop (they are a retailer of Green Goddess Guelph)


Longo's (Miyokos vegan cheese, Fauxmagerie Zengarry, Nuts for Cheese)

Goodness Me (Nuts for Cheese)


Vincenzo's (Vegan Boka from Geograin Bay Fauxmagerie)

Zero Waste Bulk (Happy Heart vegan Camembert)

Goodness Me (Nuts for Cheese, Fauxmagerie Zengarry)


Good Rebel

Wandering Deli-All vegan cheese deli

Longo's (Miyokos vegan cheese, Fauxmagerie Zengarry, Nuts for Cheese)

Whole Foods

To list a few Faux meats this could include Yves, LightLife and Beyond Meat

Local Fruit and Vegetables

Want to reduce your global footprint even more? Choose local fruit and veg products that are in season. Here is a website to see what is in season in Ontario:

I love going to the St Jacob's farmers market for pickled vegetables, canned fruits and local jams, all which would complement your holiday Charcuterie.

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

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