The top U.S. nutritional panel, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, has already said that plant based diets are better for your health and better for the planet. Now researchers at Oxford University have come to the same conclusion. . . .



The researchers criticized the exclusion of food production from discussions of climate policy because our dietary choices and food production have a significant impact on the environment.

The researchers recommend taxing meat and dairy as a motivation for buying less of it and consuming less of it. They say that raising the price of beef by 40%, for example, would reduce the consumption of meat by 13%. The reduction in meat and dairy, they conclude, would have a major impact on climate because the food production system is responsible for over a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. And bulk of those emissions come from livestock. Raising “livestock” also increases deforestation.

But beyond saving the planet, the reduction in meat and dairy consumption would also save you. The cut back in meat and dairy, according to their calculations, would save about half a million people per year because a diet low in meat and dairy is better for you. The healthier diet would reduce deaths from heart disease, diabetes and conditions related to obesity.

Marco Springmann, the lead researcher on the study, concluded with the warning that "It is clear that if we don't do something about the emissions from our food system, we have no chance of limiting climate change below 2°C."

This study adds even more weight to the evidence that cutting back on meat and dairy is good for the planet and good for you.


Nature Climate Change 2016;dio:10.1038/NCLIMATE3155


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For more on vegetarian eating that is healthy for you and the planet, see Linda's newest book, The All-New Vegetarian Passport: a comprehensive health book and cookbook all in one.

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