Less meat, better health, less carbon?

A British study suggests eating less meat could reduce disease and carbon emissions:

. . . Researchers from the University of Cambridge found that cutting back on red meat consumption could decrease the number of cases of chronic disease by 3 to 12 percent, and make the carbon footprint nearly 28 million tons smaller per year by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

The BMJ Open study included data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of British Adults in 2000-2001. Researchers looked at the amount of meat the people in the study consumed, as well as how many green gas emissions were emitted that are linked to 45 different kinds of food.

The BMJ Open study included data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of British Adults in 2000-2001. Researchers looked at the amount of meat the people in the study consumed, as well as how many green gas emissions were emitted that are linked to 45 different kinds of food.

After adjusting for proportions, the researchers found that people who regularly ate red or processed meat in the study also just generally consumed more food than people who didn’t regularly eat red or processed meat. So, they calculated that if people who ate the most red and processed meat in the study were to adjust their eating habits so they ate like the people who consumed the least red and processed meat in the study, that would decrease health risks (such as risk of diabetes, colorectal cancer and heart disease) anywhere from 3 to 12 percent. . .

If I’m reading this correctly, it says people don’t have to just eat less meat, they have to eat less fullstop.

It’s not a matter of replacing red meat with other food but in reducing total food intake.

If eating less still provided a balanced diet there would almost certainly be health benefits. If reduced consumption led to reduced production there would probably be a reduction in carbon emissions too – although that would depend on what food was consumed, how it was produced, transported and stored.

But if the meat was replaced with other food it’s possible there would be no benefits to either people’s health or the environment.

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One Response to Less meat, better health, less carbon?

  1. Andrei says:

    Just scientific dross Ele – no great insights here by which to reorder your life.

    95% of everything published in scientific journals is actually wrong.Of the 5% that is more or less correct 95% of that is So what, .

    It is the 0.25% that is actually meaningful and or useful that makes the whole exercise of science worthwhile.

    We have to separate the wheat form the chaff

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