Diets rich in plants and low in red meat and sweet snacks produce less greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), a new study into the effects of diet on the climate crisis has concurred.
Meat accounts for more than a quarter of diet-related emissions, the paper reads. Additionally, dairy made up 14 percent, with cakes and biscuits amounting to eight percent.
Plant-based diets triumphant
Upon comparing diets, researchers found that those who ate meat produced almost two-thirds more emissions than vegetarians.
The study is titled Variations in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of individual diets: Associations between the GHG and nutrient intake in the UK and available on Plos One.
And within it, authors urge for more stringent policies championing plant-based diets.
“Healthier diets had lower GHG emissions, demonstrating consistency between planetary and personal health,” it reads.
Diet and emissions
It’s not just emissions that diet affects. As the researchers outline here, our food choices contribute to air and water quality, soil health, biodiversity, all encapsulated within climate breakdown.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), animal agriculture is responsible for 14.5 percent of GHGs.
Other sources claim this number is far higher – at even 87 percent, as many argue figures don’t include the effect of land clearing for farming.