Skip to main content
  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. May 23, 2017

Substituting Beans for Beef Beneficial for Environment

Swapping beef for beans would help the United States reach targeted greenhouse gas emission reductions, according to a report published in Climatic Change. Researchers compared simulated net emissions of legume production, subtracted those from average beef production rates, and used U.S. reduction goals for 2020 as a reference. Based on the results, legume substitution could account for 46 to 74 percent of the required reductions. Forty-two percent less cropland would be needed as well. International surveys and increased availability of plant-based options demonstrate a willingness to make dietary changes for environmental benefits.


  1. Harwatt H, Sabaté J, Eshel G, Soret S, Ripple W. Substituting beans for beef as a contribution toward US climate change targets. Clim Change. Published online May 11, 2017.

More on Environment

Interested in this topic?

Learn more and earn free CME credits on!