Lettuce Worse for Environment Than Bacon
Bacon fans, prepare to shove this in the face of your vegetarian and vegan friends. According to a new study from Carnegie Mellon, a vegetarian diet could be worse for the environment than a meat-based one. Fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood have a more negative impact on the climate than meat, claims the study. The “healthier” diet increases energy use by 38%, water use by 10% and greenhouse gas emissions by 6%.
“Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon,” Paul Fischbeck, professor of social and decisions sciences and engineering and public policy, told Carnegie Mellon. “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.”
The study set out to discover if the obesity epidemic in America is adversely affecting the environment. While it’s true that losing weight and eating fewer calories reduces energy use, the USDA’s recommendations for healthy eating (lighter on the meat, heavier on fruit and veggies) isn’t necessarily the best thing for the environment.