Bloomberg: The harm to the planet from vegetarianism was 7.5 times greater than expected
A vegetarian diet has been called unexpectedly dangerous for the planet. Harm to the environment from the transportation of imported vegetables and fruits turned out to be 7.5 times more than scientists previously assumed, writes Bloomberg.
Researchers from Australia and China analyzed data on food supply chains in 74 regions of the world. The calculations took into account carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation of crops, fertilizers and agricultural machinery used to grow fruits and vegetables, livestock and other foods that are eaten in China, Europe, North America and other high-income parts of the planet.
According to scientists, international trade in agricultural products more than doubled from 1995 to 2018. Food transportation accounts for 27 percent of emissions from global freight transport and 19 percent of total emissions from the food system. At the same time, experts called the movement of goods on trucks the most harmful delivery method for the planet. Additional emissions to the atmosphere during the transportation of fruits and vegetables, according to experts, occur due to the need to cool such products.
It is possible to minimize the harm to the environment from food, according to experts, by switching to seasonal locally produced goods. In addition, rich countries can organize the cultivation of the necessary fruits on their territory. Experts also called for replacing gasoline-powered trucks used for transportation with counterparts powered by batteries, biofuels or hydrogen.
Previously, experts found that environmental pollution it turned out unexpected cause of obesity. Harmful chemicals in the air disrupt the body’s “metabolic thermostat” by changing the size of fat cells and interfering with the signals that help people know when they’re full, according to scientists.