Eating to save nature? Embrace potatoes, ditch meat and track your beans

1 month ago 23

The impact of meat on the environment is well known, but what about staples such as rice and legumes?

Biodiversity-conscious eaters could consider substituting potatoes for rice, cutting down on beef and lamb and asking where their beans, lentils and chickpeas are grown to reduce their impact on nature, a new study has found.

Scientists analysed 151 popular recipes around the world for their biodiversity impact. They found meat dishes were the worst offenders: recipes including chilli con carne, salsa verde pork and a Spanish lamb dish called lechazo, all had high biodiversity damage scores compared with vegan and vegetarian ones.

The massive environmental impact of eating meat has been well established, and the study reinforced this, with meat dishes scoring more than vegetarian or vegan dishes across almost all locally and globally produced scenarios. Brazilian-raised beef topped the charts. But the study, published on Wednesday in Plos One journal, also had surprising findings about the biodiversity footprint of some grains and legumes.

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