Vegan Diets Do Least Environmental Damage
A vegan diet leaves the smallest environmental footprint, according to an article published in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. Researchers assigned 63 participants from the New Dietary Interventions to Enhance the Treatments for weight loss (New DIETs) study to a vegan, vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, or omnivorous diet and monitored changes in their environmental impact. Those in the vegan group decreased their environmental footprint the most when compared to the other diets. A vegetarian diet provides cost savings and uses significantly fewer resources for purchasing and producing plant-based protein, compared with animal-based protein. The authors hope these environmental findings, in addition to the health benefits, compel policymakers to consider plant-based diets in their recommendations.
- Turner-McGrievy GM, Leach AM, Wilcox S, Frongillo EA. Differences in environmental impact and food expenditures of four different plant-based diets and an omnivorous diet: results of a randomized, controlled intervention. J Hunger Environ Nutr. Published online April 25, 2016.