Home Health These are the 12 food swaps green researchers want YOU to make at the supermarket “to save the environment” (bye-bye lasagna)

These are the 12 food swaps green researchers want YOU to make at the supermarket “to save the environment” (bye-bye lasagna)

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These are the 12 food swaps green researchers want YOU to make at the supermarket "to save the environment" (bye-bye lasagna)

If you want to save the planet, start by ditching beef lasagna.

According to a new study, choosing the vegetarian alternative will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from your food by up to 71 percent.

The researchers analyzed 22,000 products and assigned them to 12 common grocery categories. They proposed green swaps between similar items, which will reduce emissions by 26 percent, as well as larger swaps that are even greener.

Trades were suggested that would have different impacts on emissions, depending on the greenhouse gases each product generates when it is manufactured.

Dairy, meat, and processed foods are bad for the environment because they require a lot of land space, which is often created by cutting down trees, releasing carbon dioxide stored in trees into the atmosphere.

Lead author and epidemiologist Dr Allison Gaines, who carried out the analysis, said: “Diet habits must change significantly if we are to meet global emissions targets, particularly in high-income countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. “.

As required by the Paris Accords, global emissions must be reduced by 45 percent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 to keep global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Regarding soup, for example, meat and vegetable soup was considered harmful to the environment due to the large amount of greenhouse gases it generates.

A slightly better change would be to use pea and ham soup, because pigs need less food and water.

An even better change would be Dutch curry and rice soup or curried sweet potato and turmeric soup, as the lack of meat would significantly reduce the environmental impact.

The best switch would be to an all-natural chunky three-bean soup, because it is the least processed of the five options.

The more processed a food is, the more refinement, transportation and handling is needed, all of which produces additional greenhouse gases.

Meat products produce a lot of greenhouse gas emissions due to methane, nitrous oxide and carbon emissions from livestock and their supply chains.

What’s more, deforestation to make way for livestock farming reduces the amount of trees that absorb carbon dioxide.

Previous research from 2019 found that the percentage of all US emissions that are directly attributed to household consumption is only 20 percent.


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Approximately 31 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions could be attributed to products consumed at home in 2019, with the three largest contributors being meat, dairy and non-alcoholic beverages.

It is estimated that only about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the food and agriculture sector.

The researchers also recommended refraining from eating dairy products like a Greek-style yogurt sweetened with honey granola if you want to reduce your carbon footprint.

A yogurt with apple and rhubarb milk is more preferable, because an apple-based yogurt will generate fewer greenhouse gases than one made from cow’s milk.

It is estimated that a fully grown cow emits up to 500 liters of methane per day due to its digestive processes.

Even better would be a strawberry Greek-style yogurt or strawberry yogurt drink, since Greek yogurt can be made with goat’s milk and may contain other things, such as condensed milk instead of cow’s milk.

To really help the environment, researchers said the best switch would be to opt for a non-dairy yogurt, such as gluten-free cultured coconut milk with vanilla yogurt.

Dairy production generates significant greenhouse gas emissions, such as methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide.

In terms of bread, chocolate chip brioche buns were considered the worst, followed by mixed grain wraps, sliced ​​white bread and bagels.

The change that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions the most is sourdough bread.

This is because sourdough completely avoids the chemical fertilizers used in the manufacture of commercial wheat and yeast, as well as the carbon used in transporting this wheat and yeast hundreds of kilometers from source to factory.

In America, the largest source of emissions in milk production is due to the production of livestock feed, the methane released by cows during the digestive process and the management of their manure.

The researchers calculated projected emissions from annual grocery purchases in 7,000 Australian households, using information from the George Institute’s FoodSwitch database.

More than 22,000 products were assigned to food categories to quantify the emissions saved by switching.

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