Thursday, April 13, 2006

Vegan diets better for planet & people

Vegan diets better for planet and people: CHICAGO, April 13 (AScribe Newswire) -- The food that people eat is just as important as what kind of cars they drive when it comes to creating the greenhouse-gas emissions that many scientists have linked to global warming, according to a report accepted for publication in the journal Earth Interactions.

Both the burning of fossil fuels during food production and non-carbon dioxide emissions associated with livestock and animal waste contribute to the problem, the University of Chicago's Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin wrote in the report.

The average American diet requires the production of an extra ton and a half of carbon dioxide-equivalent, in the form of actual carbon dioxide as well as methane and other greenhouse gases compared to a strictly vegetarian diet

In their study, Eshel and Martin compared the energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions that underlie five diets: average American, red meat, fish, poultry and vegetarian (including eggs and dairy), all equaling 3,774 calories per day.
The vegetarian diet turned out to be the most energy-efficient, followed by poultry and the average American diet. Fish and red meat virtually tied as the least efficient.
The impact of producing fish came as the study's biggest surprise to Martin, an Assistant Professor in Geophysical Sciences. 'Fish can be from one extreme to the other,' Martin said. Sardines and anchovies flourish near coastal areas and can be harvested with minimal energy expenditure. But swordfish and other large predatory species required energy-intensive long-distance voyages.
Martin and Eshel's research indicated that plant-based diets are healthier for people as well as for the planet. "

1 comment:

Clintonville Progressives said...

glad to have the obvious demonstrated by research!