Eat better, save the planet ?
Well no, actually. At least, not quite.
This is the main conclusion from another study published recently in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It was conducted in France and based on the diets of nearly 2,000 adults, whose consumption was divided into almost 400 food and drink categories, each of which was assessed for greenhouse gas emissions.
As expected, red meat was found to account for three times the emissions of fruit and vegetables per 100 kcal. But confectionery and snacks had some of the lowest emissions per 100 kcal, due to ease of transportation and storage as well as lack of waste.
Among the other observations I noted:
- Dairy products, poultry, eggs and pork have similar emissions per 100 kcal to fruit and vegetables.
- It is necessary to eat far more low energy food to meet daily energy needs.
- The healthiest diets – those high in fruit, vegetables and fish – account for similar emissions to the least healthy diets.
Overall, the “results seem to contradict the widely held view that diets that are good for health are also good for the planet.”