A new study suggests that you can do something about climate change every time you decide to consume food.
According to the findings, the personal carbon footprint can be reduced by having fewer sweets, eating less red meat, and reducing the consumption of tea, coffee, and booze.
The Planet Could Be Aided By A Plant Based Diet
Darren Greenwood said that in order to save the planet, we all want to do our bit. He said that one way of doing this is by modifying our diet.
He also said that in general, the foods that are good for the earth are also good for your health.
He added that most food that is healthy for us is also good for the planet.
As we enter a holiday season of big meals with family and friends, it is a timely message.
Greenwood and his colleagues, for the study, conducted a detailed analysis of over 3,000 different food items. They then assessed the number of greenhouse gases emitted during the production of the particular type of food.
Environmental experts were not surprised by the fact that meat contributed to about 32% of all greenhouse gases that were emitted.
Sujatha Bergen said that animal feed was grown by the utilization of fossil fuels in pesticides and fertilizers. The meat’s carbon footprint is added to by the waste gases from manure from livestock too.
Bergen, health campaigns director of the NRDC said that methane is produced by animals like cows and sheep. Methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas.
She said that the biggest source of emissions in the United States was beef. She added that it would be like taking 10 million cars off the road in a year if an average American could just cut out 1 burger a day from their diet.
She also spoke about the impact on climate and how huge it is.
It was also found by researchers that drinks like tea, alcohol, and coffee contribute to about 15% of diet-related greenhouse gases, dairy products contributed to 14%, sweets contributed almost 9%.
This is a large impact on the climate.
The researchers found that when compared to vegetarian diets, nonvegetarian diets had emissions that were 59% higher.
The authors of the study said that due to the greater intake of meat, there is a 41% increase in the emissions due to men when compared to women.
When compared to people who have less healthy diets, those who had a limited intake of saturated fats, sodium, and carbs contributed smaller amounts of greenhouse gases.
Greenwood said that a big difference can be made by reducing the intake of meat. He mentioned red meat in particular.
He said that small changes like cutting out sweets or even just changing brands can make a huge difference according to their study.
Bergen said that deforestation has been linked to tea, coffee, and chocolate and added that the planet’s ability to process excess atmospheric carbon is reduced.
He is the government affairs manager for the Environmental Working Group.
Greenwood said that a lot of water is generally required by the food that his team identified. They also found that soil is degraded easily and needs to be refrigerated and transported to markets. Along with this, they are also sold in packages that add to their carbon footprints.
Horsfield explained that the success they’re having in reducing carbon emissions in other industries is actually being undermined by agriculture.
He also said that since 1990, methane emissions in the US have decreased by 18%, but for agriculture, it has increased by more than 16%.
He said that methane from agriculture is only increasing.