Meat vs Veggies? DO food choices really contribute to climate change?
Is the steak on your plate actually causing an impact to climate change?
A video produced by Vox recently focused on a study conducted by UC Davis researchers Ben Houlton and Maya Almaraz, which indicates that what people choose to eat plays an important role in climate change.
According to Houlton, who is also the director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment, people’s food choices are contributing more to climate change than pollution caused by cars.
“About 25 percent of all the global climate change problems that we are seeing can be attributed back to the food and the choices that we’re actually making about what we eat on a daily basis,” he said.
In their study, Houlton and Almaraz studied the greenhouse gas and carbon emissions produced during the course of food production.
Livestocks actually account for 14 percent of greenhouse gases just because animals like cows and goats are gassy in nature. The methane that they produce are also more potent than carbon dioxide.
The study compared the carbon in producing steak (330 grams) compared to chicken (52 grams), fish (40 grams), vegetables (14 grams) and beans like lentil (2 grams).
However, this is not to say that going completely meatless is the absolute solution to the problem.
Almaraz said that cutting back significantly on meat could help the planet a lot. She said that eating meat in moderation could have a big impact on minimizing carbon emissions.
In fact, M. Sanjayan, UCLA Visiting Researcher and CEO of Conservation International recommended instead switching to a Mediterranean diet which is lower on meat and high on vegetables, could help achieve a 15 percent reduction in climate change by the year 2020.