According to a new analysis published this month, what we eat might have an impact on the biodiversity around us. Researchers discovered that limiting meat consumption in favor of more plant-based diets might help reverse the loss of over 500 species per year.
The study was put together by the Food Foundation, a non-profit organization. The foundation’s research seeks to assist policymakers in developing policies that address public health, nutrition, and sustainability.
Researchers discovered that the UK’s intake of fruits and vegetables is now below the five-a-day recommended. They recommended that increasing produce consumption to reach this goal while lowering meat and sugar consumption per calorie would result in “substantial health and environmental advantages.”
Meat consumption, land use, and biodiversity
In general, animal agriculture necessitates substantially more acreage than plant-based food production. When compared to plant-based alternatives, it requires 100 times as much land to produce a kilocalorie of beef or lamb.
Non-food, animal-derived goods with such high statistics include wool, which takes 367 times more area to produce than cotton.
According to the latest analysis, if the UK population boosted vegetable eating by a handful per day and reduced red meat consumption by 5.5 grams per day, a large amount of livable space would be freed up.
It is estimated that up to 27 percent of land now utilized for grazing animals may be utilized to promote biodiversity instead.
Looking at two scenarios, both of which advise increasing vegetables and decreasing meat consumption, an estimated 407 or 536 species (depending on the model) would acquire more than 10% of their habitable territory.
Furthermore, the authors warn that neglecting to manage land use in this manner might result in 626 species losing habitable areas (a loss of more than 10%) as a result of symptoms of the rising climate catastrophe.
“According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, one million animal and plant species worldwide are now threatened with extinction, with a significant portion of this threat caused by land-use changes associated with food production,” the report states, warning that we may be entering the “sixth age of extinction.”
The research refers to its recommended technique as a “win-win-win” since it has the potential to produce “positive results” for biodiversity, carbon production, and public health.