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Environmental Impact Calculator

See the difference your choices can make.

In 2022, MorningStar Farms® worked with Carbon Trust, leading climate experts, to conduct a study comparing the environmental impact of choosing MorningStar Farms plant-based foods over the equivalent animal protein, across water use, greenhouse gas emission and land use. To evaluate these impacts, a “Life Cycle Assessment” (or LCA) approach was used. Over recent decades, LCA methodology has become a principal approach to evaluate a broad view of environmental impacts. With this data we created the Environmental Impact Calculator so that everyone can see the good their plant-based food choices can create.*

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Your Small Changes Can Make a Big Impact.

Calculate your results with the calculator above!

Your impact could be:

LBS CO2e or % Fewer greenhouse gas emissions

That’s equal to driving fewer car miles!

SQ/F or % Less land used

That’s equal to the size of parking spots!

Gallons or % Less water used

That’s equal to running fewer dishwasher cycles!

*Product footprint comparisons were assessed by an independent entity using an aligned GHG Protocol Product Standard. Representative MSF products were compared to the most environmentally efficient meat counterparts. Assumptions were made on environmental impacts; actual impacts may vary. All products are compared on a 60g basis. Independent Life Cycle Analysis 2022.

Thousands are represented in K, millions are represented in M, billions are represented in B and trillions are represented in T.

** Based on 60g serving


We wanted to understand the impact to the earth on the following, as we knew that they were especially important to consumers:

Carbon Footprint

We assessed all the greenhouse gases (GHGs) released from the various processes required to produce the finished product from its creation, until the time you eat and dispose of any food or packaging waste. While we use the term greenhouse gases, the measurement units are carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

Land Footprint

This refers to the physical area required to produce the finished food. Raising livestock, including growing their feed, uses more resources than creating a plant-based food from the start.

Water Footprint

This determines the total amount of water used during the processes required to produce the finished food. This includes water consumed by the animals, water used to produce the feed, rain and dirty water that returns to rivers and water consumed during processing.

Comparison Facts

Choosing veggie foods over meat can result in some big time resource savings. To make those savings more relatable, we’ve equated them to things you might recognize, like car miles, a parking space, or dishwasher cycles. To find out how we define these comparisons, see the links below.

Distance Comparisons in Miles

Standard Car Emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides that the pounds of greenhouse gasses emitted by a standard car over 1 mile is 0.91 lbs CO2e.

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Area Comparisons in FT2

Parking Space

The Dept. of Tranportation lists standard parking space dimensions as 20 ft by 8 ft, or 160 square feet.

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Volume Comparisons in Gallons

Dishwasher Cycles

The U.S. Geological Survey claims newer, EnergyStar dishwasher models use 6 gallons or less per wash cycle.

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Our study results reveal that when you swap an MSF food for your typical meat choice across pork, beef and chicken comparisons, select MSF plant-based foods have:

  • A 33-95% lower impact on greenhouse gas emissions
  • A 73-98% lower impact on land usage
  • An 86-99% lower impact on water usage

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