Is eating meat or leafy greens worse off for the environment?
According to a new study published in the November edition of Environment Systems and Decisions, researchers found that eating more fruits and vegetables is more harmful to the environment than eating meat due to the higher amount of resources that are used – creating higher greenhouse gas emissions per calorie.
According to Paul Fischbeck, an author of the paper, “Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon,” he told Global News. “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.”
Amidst the current overweight and obesity epidemic in the USA, the Dietary Guidelines provide food and beverage recommendations that are intended to help individuals achieve and maintain healthy weight. The three dietary scenarios the study examined included: reducing Caloric intake levels to achieve “normal” weight without shifting food mix, switching current food mix to USDA recommended food patterns, without reducing Caloric intake, and reducing Caloric intake levels and shifting current food mix to USDA recommended food patterns, which support healthy weight.
This study shows that what’s good for us may not be always also good for the environment.