Hoosier Ag Today by: Gary Truitt
New research from the Carnegie Mellon University suggested that following the USDA recommendations to consume more fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood is more harmful to the environment. Meatingplace reports that’s because those foods have relatively high resource use and greenhouse gas emissions per calorie. Paul Fischbeck, a professor involved in the research, said “eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon.” Researchers studied the food supply chain to determine how the obesity epidemic in the United States is affecting the environment. Specifically, they examined how growing, processing and transporting food, as well as food sales and service and household use take a toll on resources in the form of energy use, water use and GHG emissions. They found getting weight under control and eating fewer calories has a positive effect on the environment, however, eating the recommended “healthier” foods — a mix of fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood — increased the environmental impact.
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