No salad please! Lettuce 3 times worse than bacon, study reveals
Are you replacing meats with salads for the sake of your health? Well munching on that plate of veggies is destroying the environment, a US study has claimed.
A study from Carnegie Mellon University has found that many common vegetables require more resources per calorie, and produce higher greenhouse gas emissions than some types of meat.
“Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon,” said the study’s author Paul Fischbeck, a professor of social and decisions sciences and engineering and public policy.
The experts examined how growing, processing and transporting different foods; sales and service; household storage and use take a toll on the environment.
Researchers also measured the changes in energy use, blue water footprint, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
While lowering the weight of the general population has been shown to positively affect the environment, the researchers found that healthy eating leads to a higher negative environmental impact.
“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,” said Fischbeck.
A study from the (USDA) United States Department of Agriculture’s recommendation to eat more fruits, vegetables, seafood and dairy is more harmful to the environment than eating meat.
Fruits, vegetables, dairy, and seafood contribute to a 38 percent increase in energy use, along with a 10 percent increase in water use, and 6 percent GHG emissions.
“There’s a complex relationship between diet and the environment,” said one of the study’s authors, Michelle Tom.
“What is good for us health-wise isn’t always what’s best for the environment. That’s important for public officials to know and for them to be cognizant of these tradeoffs as they develop or continue to develop dietary guidelines in the future.” Added Tom.
So what will you have on your plate come mealtime?