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 Post subject: Reducing meat could improve health & the environment
PostPosted: Wed, 12 Sep 2012, 15:35 
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According to a study published in the journal BMJ Open, reducing red and processed meat consumption would not only cause a fall in chronic disease incidence in the UK, but our carbon footprint would shrink. The paper by Aston et al. reports that food and drink accounts for around one third of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to UK consumers, with livestock products attributable to 18%. They report that GHG emissions can be reduced by changing production methods although these will not be effective enough due to rising global demand. Previous studies have reported that an increased consumption of processed meat increases the risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer (risk increases of 42%, 19%, and 18% respectively per 50g increase per day). Aston et al estimated the benefits to health and climate change if in the UK, high consumers of meat and processed meat changed to dietary patterns of current low consumers. Using a sample of 1724 participants, aged 19-64 years, involved in the 2000/2001 British National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the scientists calculated meat intake classified as (unprocessed) red and processed or white. They also used published data from life cycle analyses to quantify average greenhouse gas emissions for 45 different food categories. Ashton et al then devised an alternative dietary pattern based on doubling the proportion of survey respondents who said they were vegetarian to 4.7 % of men and 12.3 % of women. The remainder of the participants, in this new dietary pattern, would adopt the same diet as those in the bottom fifth of red meat consumption, who consumed 2.5 times less than those in the top fifth. This would reduce intake from 91g to 53g a day for men and from 54g to 30g for women. They used published life-cycle analyses of different foods and data from previous meta-analyses to predicted health benefits from a reduced intake. They report that reducing intake would reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes, and bowel cancer by between 3 % and 12 % across the population. The expected reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would amount to 0.45 tonnes per person per year, or just under 28 million tonnes of CO2 a year. They conclude by stating that their study shows that reduced consumption of red and processed meat would therefore bring multiple benefits to health and environment.


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 Post subject: Re: Reducing meat could improve health & the environment
PostPosted: Sat, 29 Sep 2012, 21:43 
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That's interesting. On the environmental impacts of meat, the effect gas emissions have on the Ecological footprint of Meat in proportion to all the other impacts in the preparation of a burger is huge. A spreadsheet I prepared on the EF of a Burger meal compared to homegrown drew some data from this little chart -

Attachment:
The Cheeseburger Footprint.png

http://openthefuture.com/cheeseburger_CF.html


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