According to a new survey of more than 1,000 people by Yale University and the nonprofit Earth Day Network, more than 90 percent of Americans are “willing” to eat more fruits and vegetables, and more than half are willing to give up red meat in favor of more plant-based meat substitutes.
Why aren’t there more vegetables on Americans’ plates? Sixty-four percent of the survey participants said it was as simple as no one asked them to eat more plant-based foods. Another 58 percent said a plant-based diet would only cost too much, and about 50 percent were unsure whether to buy plant-based food or not know how to cook.
Experts point out that no matter what obstacles are encountered, it is vital for the environment for people to eat more plants. “If we don’t link what we’re eating with climate change, it’s bad for us,” Jillian Semaan, director of food and environment at Earth Day Network, told The Verge. Look at your own dishes and food. “
A mouthful of meat usually has a larger carbon footprint than a mouthful of fruit, vegetables or grains. That’s because more energy and resources are usually needed to raise livestock. Livestock account for 14.5 per cent of all greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by humans, most of which comes from cows. Brazil’s cattle industry is also responsible for deforestation and fires in the Amazon rainforest.
For a person who wants to minimize their impact on the climate crisis, there is evidence that the only best thing a person can do is eat less meat and dairy products – at least for those who live in rich countries and tend to eat more meat. In the United States, white American diets contribute more to climate change than the typical diets of black and Latino communities. Trends in plant-based artificial meat diets such as Impossible Burger may help more Americans put their meat down and eat plant-based foods instead. According to a study commissioned by Beyond, the University of Michigan, another meat substitute, Burger, produces 90 percent less greenhouse gases and a 99 percent reduction in the impact on water shortages, compared with a quarter of a pound of U.S. beef.
Semaan says the cost of these meat substitutes will still deter some, but Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are helping to overcome another challenge: “taste barriers”. In fact, the meat industry is so concerned about the popularity of these new foods that it tries to limit foods labeled “hamburgers” and “meats”.
Meat consumption in the U.S. is at an all-time high in 2018, with an average of 222 pounds of meat per consumer. Semaan’s report found that despite the prevalence of meat in American culture, 70 percent of Americans rarely or never discussed the environmental impact of food. She hopes that information about the environmental costs of red meat will change perceptions and reduce meat consumption. “If they know more about the impact of food choices, they will make better decisions, ” she says. “