• Glenn Wilson

    How much greenhouse gas does the production of different foods cause measured in miles driven or lightbulb hour equivalents?

    Michael Greger M.D. FACLM wrote: “Our eating habits are making us and the planet increasingly unhealthy.” Ours is a lose–lose situation; “a global transformation of the food system is urgently needed.” “In consideration of the mounting evidence regarding the environmental effects of foods,” for the 2015 to 2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, the scientific advisory committee “included for the first time a chapter focused on food safety and sustainability,” concluding: “a dietary pattern that is higher in plant­based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in animal­based foods is [not only] more health promoting [but also] associated with lesser environmental impact…” Despite unprecedented public support, this and other sustainability language was not surprisingly vanished from the final Dietary Guidelines published jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    They’re not even sufficiently sticking to the science on healthy eating either, including no, or too lax, limits for animal-source foods, despite the available evidence. Even if they ignored planetary health altogether and just stuck to the latest evidence on healthy eating, it would have knock-on environmental benefits. Replacing animal-source foods with plant-based ones would not only improve nutrition and help people live longer, but could reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 84 percent.

    In general, plant-based foods “cause fewer adverse environmental effects” by nearly any measure. In terms of carbon footprint, all the foods that are the equivalent of driving more than a mile per serving are animal products. Here are the greenhouse gas emissions from various foods. Even though something like a lamb chop or farmed fish may be the worst, eating chicken still causes like five times the global warming than even something like tropical fruit. Though the climate superstars are legumes (beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils). ...

    Continue at NutritionFacts: Which Foods Have the Lowest Carbon Footprint? More #NutritionFacts.
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