Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Are Vegetarians Ruining the Environment?

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.

From The Daily Mail (where else) (via Maggie’s Farm):

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.


Ares Olympus said...

A nonsense analysis, more of a condemnation of our insane food production and distribution system than what foods are bad for the environment.

You don't need any fossil fuel energy at all to grow garden cucumbers except sunlight and rain, although probably winter squash are a better crop to last all winter, no vinegar required. And if you cook your quash in the winter, you're reusing the cooking heat to heat your home, so no net energy needed.

On the other hand, keeping backyard chickens isn't a bad idea either, although watch out for the foxes. They really do love chicken too, or so one of my cousins tells me.

Dennis said...

When deciding how to eat I just look at the percentage and types of teeth in my mouth and that serves as a guide to my diet. It would seem that we were meant to be omnivores.
Nonsense is in the eye of the beholder.

Dennis said...
Too many Vegetarians spend time trying to force others to eat like them. The problem is that only a few people can do that and maintain their health over the long run. In the final analysis we are very different human beings and have differing needs.
One only needs to look around themselves to understand that life survives on death. Disregard this at your own peril.

Anonymous said...

If live survives on death, then look around us all:the death of everything except real Mishegaas masquerading as "the norm";the belief in all kinds of Mishegaas without sufficient science that tells us there in fact is anything other than loosely or vaguely defined Mishegaas and the concurrent belief that Psychiatry is as good as the Prophet Isiah in a Woody Allen movie, and who is welcomed more often than a simple morph from a modern man to the Prophet Isiah;feminists who wish to radically overtake all of society while continuing to deliver nothing but occupational death to as many men as possible(besides all those fetuses);and a mental illness system that makes Hitler's concentration camps a slice of great freedom in comparison.
Against such "yin" comes the "yang" of the right wing mania of today. Against such lack of morals comes a river of flowing water of radical conservatism flowing where other water would otherwise would have flowed. Against the ineptitude of insisting the world be perfect to as many folks as possible, comes the counter-ineptitude of the same old capitalist piggery insisting that the thieves of capitalism, mostly in the healthcare system, remain both free and free to remain thieves. We have produced a monumentally closed society, ie, one which works to produce the process of education==>industry==>success and for those who cannot maintain this or failed due to illness, disability, or some other valid excuse, this is a lot like trying to become Jewish if you weren't born Jewish:unless you are Sammy Davis Jr(and he himself is deceased), it can't be done.
Therapy is best applied to society, with open and free sessions regularly online. Individual therapy is a lot like trying to cover the deficiencies of society, and moreover, the individual therapist is a slave to the overall mental illness system, with the top totemed Psychiatrists act without reason and without justification to insist that all of society is "mentally ill, given a pill, then quickly become over the hill, to be buried prematurely into a hill". Not even Donald Trump would consider that success, and frankly, if I had the power, I'd bomb the hell out of them. ISIS would be next--or perhaps right after academia which trains all physicians to be pitiless ego maniacs, which considers itself beyond reproach, holds all of society hostage to its outrages, and ought be regulated into behaving more appropriately.
Had enough of the mental illness system, anyone?