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Lettuce 3x worse than bacon for environment

Written by on | Modified 30 Dec, 2015 | Views 572

Carnegie Mellon Study Finds Eating Lettuce Is More Than Three Times Worse in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Than Eating Bacon


Vegetarian and “Healthy” Diets Could Be More Harmful to the Environment

lettuce baconCarnegie Mellon Study Finds Eating Lettuce Is More Than Three Times Worse in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Than Eating Bacon

Contrary to recent headlines — and a talk by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference — eating a vegetarian diet could contribute to climate change.

In fact, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, following the USDA recommendations to consume more fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood is more harmful to the environment because those foods have relatively high resource uses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per calorie. Published in Environment Systems and Decisions, the study measured the changes in energy use, blue water footprint and GHG emissions associated with U.S. food consumption patterns.

A study from Carnegie Mellon University took a look at what it takes to produce different kinds of food, and found some kinds of vegetables use more resources and emit more greenhouse gases per calorie than certain kinds of meat.

"Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon," Prof. Paul Fischbeck said in a release from the university. "Lots of common vegetables require more resources per calorie than you would think. Eggplant, celery and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken."

The findings come from a study of the U.S. supply chain, with a view to explaining how obesity rates affect the environment, including water and energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

However, eating the recommended “healthier” foods — a mix of fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood — increased the environmental impact in all three categories: Energy use went up by 38 percent, water use by 10 percent and GHG emissions by 6 percent.

Sources

Carnegie Mellon University http://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2015/december/diet-and-environment.html
The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/12052711/Lettuce-worse-than-bacon-for-the-environment-scientists-claim.html



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