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A new
report released by the World Wildlife Fund (WFF) points to diet as a major indicator
of a person’s carbon footprint, and urges readers toward a plant-based lifestyle.

Titled Food
In A Warmer World
, the study looks specifically to Britian to examine how food choices effect the environment.

Staple
meals

The
report analyzes the carbon footprint of four nonvegan dishes – chicken tikka masala,
fish and chips, ploughman’s lunch, and a lamb stew called cawl – to determine the
effects of each ingredient in the meals, and compare them.

In every
dish, either meat, fish, or cheese was responsible for the largest percentage
of the meal’s carbon footprint, while the footprint of the plant ingredients
was minute in comparison.

Food vs.
plastic

For
perspective, the WWF’s report also compared the footprint of the dishes to the
damage caused by the use of disposable plastic bottles.

Each meal’s
carbon footprint was equivalent to that of 19 or more plastic bottles, with the
lamb stew as the worst offender, reportedly as wasteful as the using 71 disposable 500 milliliter plastic bottles.

‘Reasons
to be hopeful’

In a section
of the report titled ‘What Can We Do?’ the environmental organization
highlights existing trends that indicate a shift toward less destructive
eating has already begun.

The
section lists month-long vegan challenge Veganuary, a booming plant-based
food and drink industry, and an increase of meat-free eating – all of which the
WWF calls ‘reasons to be hopeful’.

Dietary
recommendations

In the
same section, the report lists dietary recommendations for the environmentally
concerned.

The
recommendations include eating more plants, wasting less food, and reducing meat
and replacing it with plant-based sources of protein, such as peas, beans, and
nuts.

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination....