New Study: Eat More Plant-Based Foods to Live Longer AND Reduce Greenhouse Emissions
According to research from Loma Linda University (due to be published July 2014), eating a plant-based diet results in a more sustainable environment and reduces greenhouse gas emissions all while improving life longevity.
To figure this out, the researchers examined data from a previous study which documented the dietary habits and health of more than 96,000 Seventh-day Adventists throughout United States and Canada. With the majority of Seventh-day Adventists consuming a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (allows dairy and eggs, but no animal flesh), data on vegetarians, semi-vegetarians and non-vegetarians was available to analyze. Knowing that food systems are a significant contributor to global warming, scientists were able to compare different dietary patterns with associated greenhouse gas emisions and then mortality rates.
Results showed that the mortality rate for non-vegetarians turned out to be almost 20% higher than that of vegetarians and semi-vegetarians. Additionally, vegetarian diets resulted in almost 1/3 less emissions compared to non-vegetarian diets. The researchers concluded changing the way one eats and incorporating more plant-based foods/ less animal-based foods can help to produce environmental benefits, even though they are small ones.
The more people engage in semi-vegetarian or vegetarian diets, the higher the beneficial effect on the environment will be. Ultimately, a large-scale change in this direction will increase food security and sustainability, all while improving individual health.
Loma Linda University Medical Center. "Vegetarian diets produce fewer greenhouse gases and increase longevity, say new studies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2014. Available at: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625145536.htm