Oh darn: GHG-wise, vegetarian diet 3 x worse than eating bacon

Oh darn: GHG-wise, vegetarian diet 3 x worse than eating bacon

[Ed. – My goodness, doesn’t that just blow?  Not that I’m going to give up my eggplant or cucumbers.  Or bacon.]

Carnegie Mellon study finds eating lettuce is more than three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon

Contrary to recent headlines — and a talk by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference — eating a vegetarian diet could contribute to climate change.

In fact, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, following the USDA recommendations to consume more fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood is more harmful to the environment because those foods have relatively high resource uses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per calorie. Published in Environment Systems and Decisions, the study measured the changes in energy use, blue water footprint and GHG emissions associated with U.S. food consumption patterns.

“Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon,” said Paul Fischbeck, professor of social and decisions sciences and engineering and public policy. “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.”

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