New study: Plant-based diets have only 30 percent the environmental impact of meat-based diets

Modern people have begun to pay attention to the impact of their diet on the health of the planet, and now, a new study provides a new perspective. After analyzing more than 55,000 actual dietary data, British scientists found that choosing a pure plant diet can greatly reduce the damage to the environment. The study, published July 20 in the journal Nature Food, brings a comprehensive understanding of the link between diet and environmental issues.

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The global food system has a huge impact on the planet, emitting one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to research, a plant-based diet can reduce climate heating emissions, water pollution and land use by 75% compared to a diet that consumes more than 100 grams of meat per day. In addition, the plant-based diet was also able to reduce wildlife habitat damage and water use by 66% and 54%, respectively. The study’s sample size came from data from 38,000 farms in 119 countries. The research team also found that the “dietary choices” people make have a more important impact on the environment than how and where they are produced.

Vegetarian and meat-eating have at least an 8-fold difference in environmental impact.

Of course, some people may question that different meat products have different environmental impacts. Therefore, the researchers compared the “meat with the least impact” on the environment – organic pork, with the “plant product with the greatest impact” on the environment – vegetable oilseeds, and still found that the former was 8 times more harmful to the climate than the latter. times. This data undoubtedly reinforces the importance of reducing meat consumption.

Eating a little less meat can have big benefits.

The study finally found that a meat-less diet (less than 50 grams of meat per day) can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and land use by 50% compared with a meat-rich diet; The difference in the environmental impact between the “sex diet” and “seafood vegetarian” is relatively small. This concept may encourage some meat lovers: You don’t need to become a complete vegetarian, even if you just eat a little less meat, the contribution to the earth’s environment has already contributed to the impact that cannot be underestimated.