THE BEST OVERALL PAPERS
The must-read articles to understand the overall benefits of a plant-based lifestyle
Category: Environment / Food Choices / Food Footprints
Analysis drawing on 570 studies with data covering 38,700 commercial farms, in 119 countries, representing ~90% of all food consumed.
43% of the globe’s ice-and desert-free land surface is used for agriculture
The food production, upstream of the consumer, accounts for ~31% of global GHGs
There is marked variation between farms
Cattle raised only for meat without any dairy co-production
Main model in USA
Has the highest GHG and land use impact.
Beef from dairy herds is also very high
Dairy uses less resources than beef
But somewhat worse than most other animal products
Animal products provide 37% of protein and 18% of calories, but are responsible for 83% of global and 56-58% of food-related emissions.
A global dietary shift to a completely animal-free diet would reduce food-related GHGs by ~49% and farmland by ~76%.
Just eliminating beef (globally) would still reduce food GHGs by 33%.
A dietary shift away from all animal products in the US, where per capita meat consumption is thrice the world average, could reduce food emissions 61-73%.
Between plant proteins
Uses Tofu and not whole soy beans - interesting choice
Tofu is the most efficient for land and GHG emissions amongst other plant proteins
There are other papers often list pulses as more efficient than soy, and lower relative ratings than in this paper
This full impact assessment on not just GHG emissions, but also land use, freshwater use, and water pollution, led to their conclusions that a vegan diet shows to be the best way to reduce an ecological footprint.
Excellent presentation by author Joseph Poore at the Cambridge Climate Lecture Series.