People become vegetarians and vegans for a variety of reasons. Religion. Health issues. Environmental sensitivity. Indeed even the United Nations advocates vegetarianism and veganism. Being vegetarian, they say, is not only kinder to your own body but also to the environment as it requires a lot more resources to breed animals for eating than it does to breed plants. Sounds about right, doesn’t it?
Well, recent research conducted by the Carnegie Mellon University sort of proves everyone wrong. According to the findings, producing certain vegetables like lettuce and fruits for human consumption actually uses up more resources than it does to produce meat. This is because an individual must consume a higher amount of fruits & vegetables to get the necessary nutrition that they would otherwise get from a smaller quantity of meat.
“Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon,” said Professor Paul Fischbeck, a researcher in the study. “Lots of common vegetables require more resources per calorie than you would think. Eggplant, celery and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken,” he added.
The researchers arrived at this conclusion by studying the production and distribution of food, including growing, processing and transporting in the US, and deducing how much of a toll such activities take on resources such as energy use, water and greenhouse gas emissions. Because fruits and vegetables are produced in higher quantities, they use up more resources while being processed, transported, distributed and stored.
So are you rethinking that vegan diet now?