It sounds too good to be true, but maybe it is. After all, the research comes from a highly reputable institution, Carnegie Mellon University, so we are inclined to pay attention to it. Even if it isn’t true, at least it’s entertaining.
It turns out that eating a healthy diet, with lots of vegetables may be worse for the environment than eating meats. I know you suspected that those moralistic souls who make the salad bar their second home were going to be punished for their virtue. Now, you know, their good habits are doing harm to the environment.
Sticking to a vegetarian diet may not be as beneficial to the environment as you think — in fact, it might be helping to destroy it.
A study from Carnegie Mellon University has found that many common vegetables require more resources per calorie, and produce higher greenhouse gas emissions than some types of meat.
While lowering the weight of the general population has been shown to positively affect the environment, the researchers found that healthy eating leads to a higher environmental impact.
The study examined the impact of food from growing, processing and transporting, to food sales, service, and household storage, according to Carnegie Mellon.
Researchers also measured the changes in energy use, blue water footprint, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
'Eating lettuce is over three time worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon,' said Paul Fishbeck, 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.'
Of course, researchers still believe that eating more vegetables will make you healthier and that a healthy body will consume less energy. And yet, that gain must be balanced against the energy expended to produce all of those healthy foods. Apparently, the healthy habits of vegetarians are producing more greenhouse gasses and thus are causing climate change and global warming.
When it comes to global warming, you do better to eat bacon than to eat eggplant and celery.