Food

We evolved as omnivores, but we did not evolve eating three large portions of meat a day, and we ate a wider variety of things, and way less red meat. 25% of man made greenhouse gases come from agriculture, and most of that comes from cows and sheep farting the place up. Between the growth of the global population, and the worldwide rise in demand for red meat, there are more people who are starting to eat more meat, and that means deforestation. That means fewer trees are expected to absorb more and more carbon dioxide, when in reality they're absorbing less.

What can we do about this? Our personal diets collectively play a big part in this. Generally eating less, but what we eat is important too. The recommended annual carbon footprint per-person is 5 tonnes by 2030, and 2 tonnes by 2050, but most of us are at 10-20 tonnes right now... A "meat lover" diet creates 3.3 tonnes of emissions per person, and a more average diet is around 2.5 tonnes... just the food! Switching to "no beef" (or other red meat) gets you down to 1.9 tonnes, and vegetarian is 1.7 tonnes, and going full on vegan would be 1.5 tonnes. Another way of putting this: a meat-eater’s diet requires 17 times more land, 14 times more water and 10 times more energy than a vegetarian’s.

Whatever you dietary preferences are now, there is room for improvement. It doesn't have to happen overnight, and you don't need to cut out all meet forever. Maybe a "birthday steak" but otherwise sticking to white meat. Maybe you're already white-meat only but eat it every day, and you could switch to meat-weekends and plant-weeks.

Experts suggest we cut our meat intake by 20%, but seeing as loads of people won't bother the rest of us need to aim for higher, maybe 50-60% less meat. Together these personal changes reduce overall demand for meat, and that means farmers can switch to other crops. In Ireland many farmers are switching from beef to sustainable logging, which is a much better use of the land, and traps carbon in the wood products they create, instead of having a bunch of farty cows!

Track your footprint as you set off on your mission to improve your diet, and see the gains you're making each month!

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