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How cutting back on beef helps the planet » Yale Climate Connections


Health experts recommend limiting how much beef you eat. But some people will eat a burger for lunch and steak for dinner.

Diego Rose of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine found that on any given day, about 12% of Americans eat what he calls a disproportionate amount of beef.

And the 12% who load up their plates with red meat eat about 50% of the total amount of beef that’s consumed by Americans in a day.

Rose: “And so that was kind of startling.”

Rose says eating too much red meat is not only bad for people’s health. It also harms the climate.

Producing beef causes eight to 10 times more carbon pollution per serving than chicken and 50 times more than beans.

So Rose encourages consumers to eat less beef.

It does not require swearing off steak and ribs. People eat beef in all sorts of dishes.

Rose: “So we’re talking, you know, burritos and tacos and pastas and soups and stews, lots of places that people may not think of as a big beef source, but that accounted for over 50% of the beef eaten on any given day.”

So he says there are lots of ways for people to remove at least some of the beef in their diets — for the good of their health, and the climate.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media





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