Animal-based food generates nearly twice the emissions as plants

Animal farming accounts for twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as plants grown for consumption, according to a study published that mapped agricultural activities worldwide.

From transportation and deforestation to cold storage and the digestive systems of cattle, what humans eat accounts for a major chunk of the emissions behind climate change.

Researchers looked at carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide released by food production and consumption from farming on land. They found that from 2007 to 2013, the emissions amounted to 35 percent of all human-caused emissions, or over 17 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases per year.

The study noted the growing demand for food worldwide and the industry’s potential to exacerbate global warming. Plants grown for human consumption generated 29 percent of food emissions, the study published in Nature Food found.


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