Wednesday, July 20, 2011

EWG: eating less beef and cheese like taking 7.6 million cars off the road

The Environmental Working Group has released its Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change and Health:
Taking into account every stage of food production, processing, consumption and waste disposal, the guide documents in unprecedented detail how consumers who eat less meat and cheese can significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and health risks linked to their dietary choices. Previous studies have focused mostly on emissions from the food production phase only. The calculations reveal that if everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, over a year, the effect on emissions would be the equivalent of taking 7.6 million cars off the road. Beef generates more than twice the emissions of pork, nearly four times that of chicken, and more than 13 times that of vegetable proteins such as beans, lentils, and tofu. Cheese has the third-highest emissions. Less dense cheese (such as cottage) results in fewer greenhouse gases since it takes less milk to produce it. 90 percent of beef’s emissions, 69 percent of pork’s, 72 percent of salmon’s and 68 percent of tuna’s are generated in the production phase. Just half of chicken’s emissions are generated during production.
Obesity rates are tied to beef and cheese consumption according to the National Institutes of Health:
Considerable differences existed in MC (meat consumption) across sociodemographic groups among US adults. Those who consumed more meat had a much higher daily total energy intake, for example, those in the upper vs bottom quintiles consumed around 700 more kcal day(-1) (P<0.05). Regression models showed consistent positive associations between MC and BMI (body mass index), waist circumference, obesity and central obesity, respectively. Using quintile 1 (low MC) as the reference, the association (odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI)) between total MC quintiles and obesity were 1.03 (0.88; 1.21; 2nd quintile), 1.17 (1.00; 1.38), 1.27 (1.08; 1.51) and 1.27 (1.08; 1.49; upper quintile), respectively; whereas that with central obesity was 1.13 (0.96-1.33), 1.31 (1.10; 1.54), 1.36 (1.17-1.60) and 1.33 (1.13; 1.55), respectively.
Rewild the West.


Lynn said...

Watch "Food Inc", the movie, and you'll cut back or quit eating meat and chicken. We eat very litte anymore and when we do it it from small ranches, raised without antibodics etc

larry kurtz said...

Welcome, Lynn. Yes, Food Inc. is an outstanding watch. Just listened to this from WBUR; it will air on YPR at noon Mountain Time.

Lynn said...

Montana's getting Fat

Lynn said...

We're being poisoned, by many sources a liitle each day