Red meat is harmful to health and also to the environment. We know it. But here is something that may surprise you. Eating sweets can be just as important.
Researchers who reviewed 20 studies on the environmental impact of food consumption in Australia found that the country emits more than 500 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Of this amount, food-related emission sources represent more than 14%.
On average, Australians produce about 20 kg of carbon dioxide per day through their diets, not to mention the pollution that food production can cause to the environment, according to scientists.
Of the so-called staple foods, meat, cereals and dairy products contribute to most of the country’s food emissions, while fruits and vegetables are two less, not surprisingly.
However, it seems that the production of “non-essential” foods such as sugary drinks, alcohol, sweets and processed meat also generates between 27% and 33% of food-related greenhouse gas emissions.
“Although the percentage is lower than basic food emissions, the fact that Australians consume large amounts of high-energy, low-avoidance nutrients does not help the environment.” scientists show.
While these “discretionary” foods are harmful to the environment, they are also harmful to human health. Regular consumption of sugary sugary drinks, highly processed foods, sweets and pastries lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
“Discretionary foods have a larger surface area, lack of water and ecological traces. Meat also emits greenhouse gases, although its traces of dehydration are smaller compared to dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, ”explains Sara Forbes, a nutritionist at the University of South Australia who led the study.
“It’s time to better understand the environmental impacts of the type and amount of food we eat, given our planet and our health,” adds Forbes.
“By 2050, the world’s population will reach 10 billion people. There is no way we can feed so many people unless we change the way we eat and produce food. “
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