To assess climate impacts, EWG (Environmental Working Group) partnered with CleanMetrics, an environmental analysis and consulting firm, to do lifecycle assessments of 20 popular types of meat (including fish), dairy and vegetable proteins. Unlike most studies that focus just on production emissions, our assessment calculates the full “cradle-to-grave” carbon footprint of each food item based on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated before and after the food leaves the farm – from the pesticides and fertilizer used to grow animal feed all the way through the grazing, animal raising, processing, transportation, cooking and, finally, disposal of unused food. The analysis also includes the emissions from producing food that never gets eaten, either because it’s left on the plate or because of spoilage or fat and moisture loss during cooking. About 20 percent of edible meat just gets thrown out.
By eating and wasting less meat (especially red and processed meat) and cheese, you can simultaneously improve your health and reduce the climate and environmental impact of food production. And when you do choose to eat meat and cheese, go greener. There are many environmental, health and animal welfare reasons to choose meat and dairy products that come from organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed animals. It may cost more, but when you buy less meat overall, you can afford to go healthier and greener. Here’s how eating less meat measures up against other climate-saving actions:
Over a year:
If you eat one less burger a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for 320 miles or line-drying your clothes half the time.
If your four-person family skips meat and cheese one day a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for five weeks – or reducing everyone’s daily showers by 3 minutes.
If your four-person family skips steak once a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for nearly three months.
If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would be like not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
From the Environmental Working Group: More HERE>>