The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Stephanie Feldstein, (734) 395-0770

Ikea Introduces Meatless Meatball, Highlights Need for More Corporate Action to Help Cut Meat Consumption

Producing, Eating Less Meat Key to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Following the latest United Nations report on climate change, retail giant Ikea says it will introduce "lower carbon alternatives" to its popular Swedish meatballs, including a vegetarian version. This is one of the first times a major retailer has introduced a meatless menu item explicitly to combat climate change.

"Cutting meat consumption is a vitally important part of reducing our impact on the planet -- most people don't yet realize just how important it is. So I'm happy to see Ikea taking action with its most popular menu item," said Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director at the Center for Biological Diversity, which recently launched a campaign to reduce meat consumption. "So often we see companies make 'sustainability' claims without really changing how they do business. The truth is, corporations that continue to sell meat in massive quantities, without offering plant-based alternatives for their customers, will never get close to being sustainable."

Every year Ikea sells roughly 150 million meatballs made from beef and pork. Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability for the company, called their meatballs the "most carbon intensive" dish on their menu.

"Reducing meat consumption is critical for saving wildlife, curbing climate change and protecting the planet. Providing meatless alternatives is an important way for retailers and restaurants to do their part, and we hope more companies will follow Ikea's lead," Feldstein said. "While we certainly remain concerned about some of Ikea's other environmental practices, especially its history of sourcing wood from old-growth forests, switching to a more earth-friendly menu is a step in the right direction."

The Center for Biological Diversity recently launched a new campaign urging Americans to "take extinction off your plate." The campaign asks people to reduce their environmental footprint and help save wildlife by eating less meat. So far more than 14,000 people have already taken its "Earth-friendly Diet Pledge" to reduce their meat consumption.

Additional information, including the Earth-friendly Diet Pledge and a downloadable infographic, can be found at

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

(520) 623-5252