Eat Your Veggies to Cut Down on Your Impact

by Tim Fulton on September 12, 2008

Image: dboy

Perhaps eating habits aren’t the most related thing in the world, but if we’re concerned about our carbon foot print as far as eating, preparing, and wasting foods goes, I think it’s important. Also, being vegan, I have a clear bias.

Anyway, MSNBC reports recently on something many of us have known for years: veggies have a smaller footprint than meats:

A diet with meat is responsible for producing in a year the same amount of greenhouse gases as driving a mid-sized car 4,758 kilometres (2,956 miles), the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IOeW) said.

But the food a vegetarian consumes in 12 months is responsible for generating the same emissions as driving 2,427 kilometres, the IOeW said in a study commissioned by independent consumer protection group Foodwatch.

Now, here’s the real kicker:

Going vegan — giving up meat and dairy products — would cut the emissions released in making what you eat more than seven-fold, to the equivalent of driving 629 kilometres, it said.

I’m not going to try to make you vegan, but if your in it for the environmental aspect, look at how you cook and what you eat. Sure, cooking over and open flame is a lot of fun, but it’s not as efficient as an electric stove. Similarly, lentil soup is a more efficient source of protein than a slab of steak.

Happy eating!

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