Meat is a food that has long been at the center of a thousand controversies: how much should we eat? Wouldn’t it be better to do without it? Is once in a while okay? The red one or the white one?
In short, we don’t know precisely how to proceed, but it is now a fact that the consumption and production of meat has a negative impact on our planet. Let’s see how and why.
«According to estimates, the food system it is responsible for 34% of global emissions in 2015, but also for 70% of the world’s drinking water use and 78% of water pollution. Around three-quarters of the ice-free land surface has been impacted by human use with consequent loss of biodiversity” states the study by the Oxford team published in the journal NatureFood.
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The differences between those who eat more or less meat
The objective of the study is to compare the different impact that diets with higher and lower meat consumption have on the environment. Around 55 thousand people were divided based on their diet: those who eat more than 100g of meat a day, those who eat up to 50g, fish and non-meat eaters, vegetarians and finally vegans.
The results confirmed the suspicions of many: as the consumption of foods of animal origin increases, the impact on the environment also increases. The CO2 emissions of vegans are only 30% compared to the emissions of the group of people who consumed 100g of meat a day. However, quantity also matters: those who consume “little” meat (i.e. less than 50g) produce half as much CO2 as those who consume a lot of it.
Therefore, writes the Oxford team, «to feed a growing global population and at the same time not exceed the environmental limits that keep us safe, a change in our diets is necessary, as well as reducing the impact of the system food”.
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