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How Changing Global Diets Can Reduce Carbon Emissions

A new study published Monday in the Nature Climate Change shows that changing diet can help to combat climate change. The authors of the paper say that there is need to exercise care and diligence with regard to the choice of foods which we take. They say that all human beings need to reduce the rate at which climate change occurs is to choose healthier diets.

With the rise in population, most people prefer diets that are high in meat. There may not even be enough food because there will be shortage of farmers to produce food that serves the requirements of about ten billion people. This makes it important to come up with ways which assists in increasing the acreages of land under cultivation.

According to Jim Gutz, one of the researchers and the lead author, this will come at a hefty price because deforestation I will be necessary to create more land for food production. Moreover, loss of biodiversity and increased number of livestock raises the levels of methane many times. They put forward arguments that   demand for food should altered by cutting down on wastage and encouraging the use of well balanced diets.

If no action is taken, fertilizer use will double by 2050 while tropical forests will have fully disappeared.

“This can be a real tragic, but let’s hope that policy makers and opinion shapers will help governments understand what’s happening and deliver the world from possible disasters” said Gutz.

The research indicates that increased fertilizer use, deforestation and increased methane in livestock raises the amount of greenhouse emissions and this could lead to fast rate of climatic change.

The study reiterates the need to plan food production based on demand and managing it in a manner that benefits the environment. Changing diets to healthy options is the most feasible method of cutting down on the amount of   carbon emissions which end up in the environment.

“There are very basic biophysics laws which we cannot evade at all,” said   Bojana Bajzelj, another researcher from the University of Cambridge

“The ability of livestock to convert plant based feeds into meat is less than three percent and as human beings consume more meat, more land will be cleared to provide enough supply of grass that cows will feed on. The amounts of losses which are registered at every stage are a lot. In this scenario, agricultural practices are not at fault, but our choices of foods,” said Bajzelj.

“It’s of utmost importance that we look for ways to achieve food security without having to expand pastureland or crop fields. Production of food is one of the key drivers of deforestation, so our food choices matters a lot,” reiterated Bajzelj.

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