vegetarianism is almost the most efficient diet

There was an article on Cornell University's website last Thursday (October 4, 2007) that I found rather interesting. It's regarding a study that was published in the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.

As far back as I can remember one of the reasons people have espoused adopting a vegetarian diet is to save resources. It takes less energy to raise vegetable sources of food than to produce meat--so by eating a diet purely sourced from plant, you'll be more Earth friendly.

That's pretty common sense and I've always accepted that rationale while at the same time happily stuffing pork and chicken in my mouth at every opportunity. What results? Cognitive dissonance. But no more!

It appears that, according to Cornell's study, that food production that includes meat and dairy is more efficient than plants alone. Here's the reason from their article:

The reason is that fruits, vegetables and grains must be grown on high-quality cropland, Chris Peters, a Cornell postdoctoral associate in crop and soil sciences, explained. Meat and dairy products from ruminant animals are supported by lower quality, but more widely available, land that can support pasture and hay. A large pool of such land is available in New York state because for sustainable use, most farmland requires a crop rotation with such perennial crops as pasture and hay.

If you read the study, you'll see that they're not endorsing the normal American diet. We typically eat 3 times as much meat/dairy as is efficient. 6 ounces versus 2 ounces. This is kinda like the beer commercial dilemma: "Tastes Great" versus "Less Filling". Personally I go with the great taste option and pigs do taste good! But it is nice to know that moderate amounts of pig eating can be considered Earth friendly. Just keep it down to 2 ounces of cooked meat a day!


kenju said…
Two ounces? That's not even worth the cooking of it!
SassyAssy said…
Glad my filet mignon consumption is also helping the earth cause.
Ivy said…
Interesting article..
Marko said…
I think 2 ounces should be an average if you don't engage in some serious physical activity. If you are active, you will probably need more.

That means you can have a proper steak once in a while, but you don't have to eat meat every day.
Also less fat is obviously better.
I rarely eat red meat at all, and almost no pork..Chicken, Turkey and fish...And many times I eat a vegetarian meal...It just feels better to me, quite frankly....
I do remember when akmost all of us in 'the theatre', etc, ate nothing but steak and a salad...No bread, no poatoes, no starch at all....It is amazing how one can change one's eating habits depending on motivation!
To me the most important thing should be health issues...and they say, a diet with little red meat and little pork is healthier....!

Thanls for your visit and your kind words, too, Dave.

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