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.
- 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.