Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference

Animal product consumption a key option discussed at Rio +20 forum

Posted : 25 July 2012

Image of apple shapoed Earth

By Eric A. Davidson   Eric A. Davidson is President and Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth , Massachusetts, USA A report entitled Our Nutrient World: The challenge to produce more food & energy with less pollution was recently presented by leading scientists and policy makers at the Rio +20 summit.  The report identified the key threats to water, air, soil, climate, and biodiversity from excess nitrogen and phosphorus released into the environment by the agricultural, transportation, and industrial sectors. “A new global effort is needed to reduce nutrient losses and improve overall nutrient use efficiency in all sectors, simultaneously providing the foundation for a Greener Economy to produce more food and energy while reducing environmental pollution, ” the study concludes.  While a growing and increasingly prosperous global human population demands more food and energy, we will need to be smarter about how we produce and consume.  Importantly, reducing per capita meat consumption was among nine specific recommendations identified in the report. The report emphasized that our choices as citizens make a big difference. While some remain undernourished, people in many countries eat more animal products than is optimal for a healthy diet. Avoiding over-consumption of animal products reduces pollution from the agricultural sector, while also benefiting our health.


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