• ‘Healthy’ and veg diets are harmful for the environment

    We have reasons to believe that conventional dietary advice is questionable and that veg diets advocacy seems to be more about ideology than having actual knowledge about what constitutes a healthy diet.

    Now, a study published in Environmental Systems and Decisions found that these diets have a greater negative impact on the environment:

    The three dietary scenarios we examine include (1) reducing Caloric intake levels to achieve “normal” weight without shifting food mix, (2) switching current food mix to USDA recommended food patterns, without reducing Caloric intake, and (3) reducing Caloric intake levels and shifting current food mix to USDA recommended food patterns, which support healthy weight. This study finds that shifting from the current US diet to dietary Scenario 1 decreases energy use, blue water footprint, and GHG emissions by around 9 %, while shifting to dietary Scenario 2 increases energy use by 43 %, blue water footprint by 16 %, and GHG emissions by 11 %. Shifting to dietary Scenario 3, which accounts for both reduced Caloric intake and a shift to the USDA recommended food mix, increases energy use by 38 %, blue water footprint by 10 %, and GHG emissions by 6 %. These perhaps counterintuitive results are primarily due to USDA recommendations for greater Caloric intake of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and fish/seafood, which have relatively high resource use and emissions per Calorie.

    As usual, remember that there is not a morally superior diet than another — but those who feel they must base their eating habits in an ethical precept, might find this information useful.

    And it makes no sense to make ethical decisions based on ideology or wishful thinking, much less when science is giving us tangible facts and evidence in this regard.

    (via Alexis Rebolledo)

    Category: Skepticism and Science


    Article by: Ðavid A. Osorio S

    Skeptic | Blogger | Fact-checker