Environmental Hazard: Cut the beef?


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — If you’re trying to reduce your environmental footprint, you probably recycle, carpool, or use less paper. But – did you know eating meat is a big contributor to waste and consumption? In fact, the union of concerned scientists says it is the second biggest environmental hazard facing earth, after fossil-fuel vehicles.

How much meat do you eat? The average American consumes more than 222 pounds of red meat and poultry each year!

Around the world, livestock emit more than 14 percent of all greenhouse gases released in the environment, and over half of that comes from cows. Raising animals for food also consumes more than half of all the water that’s used in the U.S. And there’s the health factor. Recent studies have found eating too much red meat can put you at risk for heart disease by increasing levels of a specific compound.

“What we found is that individuals who eat a diet that’s rich in red meat, have a significant elevation in their TMAO level,” Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic said.

How can you help? In a recent Lancet Report, scientists suggest people in wealthy countries limit their consumption of red meat to one, three-ounce serving a week or one, six-ounce serving every two weeks. Plant-based proteins like legumes and nuts are good substitutes. And there is your own health to consider.

“Your protein choice in your diet influences how well your kidneys function to eliminate certain compounds versus others,” Hazen told Ivanhoe.

The bottom line, if you want to do your part to save the planet, cut down on the meat.

Sustainable eating also pertains to shrimp. A study conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature found that at least 28 percent of the world’s freshwater shrimp species are threatened with extinction. And, a study out of Yale finds shrimp farmers have destroyed an estimated 38 percent of the world’s mangroves to create shrimp ponds, and the damage is permanent.

Sources: https://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/how-does-eating-meat-harm-the-environment/




Contributor(s) to this news report include: Julie Marks, Writer and Robert Walko, Editor.

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