Study determines vegetarianism to be more harmful to environment than eating meat, multiple headlines suggest
Many headlines suggested Tuesday that a new study has discovered vegetarianism to be worse for our surroundings than consumption of meat, and has flown in the face of previous study. The researchers behind the latest study have said that’s a complete mischaracterization of what has been found by them.
While speaking to The Huffington Post, Michelle Tom and Paul Fischbeck of Carnegie Mellon University said that to some extent in terms of environmental impact, it seems that not all foods in a certain food group are made equal.
Fischbeck said, “You can’t lump all vegetables together and say they’re good. You can’t lump all meat together and say it’s bad”.
Some media persons highlighted the finding that calorie for calorie, making lettuce leads to more emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) as compared to bacon. However, these are just 2 foods. If we talk about reality, no vegetarian will switch every pork calorie with a lettuce calorie. This point solely ignores the finding of the researchers that broccoli, rice, kale, potatoes, spinach and wheat etc. all comes below pork in terms of GHG.
Likewise, in terms of ‘blue’ water usage, produce such as mushrooms, cherries and mangoes needs more water as compared to any meat product. However, all peanuts, carrots, corn, and wheat consume less water in comparison to all non-seafood meat.
The researchers clarified that they didn’t find that vegetarianism is bad for the environment. All that has been discovered by them is that not every plant product is more environmentally friendly as compared to every meat product.
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