Sustainability of Meat-Based and Plant-Based diets.
What is Food Sustainability?
- 2 billion people live primarily off a meat-based diet.
- Meat-based diets require more energy to produce their food than vegetarian diets.
- The US livestock population consumes more than 7 times as much grain that is consumed by the entire American population.
- Americans eat about eight ounces of meat a day, roughly twice the global average.
- Americans are consuming twice the recommended daily amount (RDA) for protein.
- 4 billion people live primarily on a plant-based diet.
- The amount of grains used to produce animal products (milk and eggs) was about half the amount of grains fed to livestock to produce animal products consumed in a meat-based diet.
- A plant-based diet enables individuals to meet basic nutrient needs.
So Which Diet is More Sustainable?
Why should we care about food sustainability?
Shortages of cropland, fresh water, and energy resources require most of the 4 billion people to live off a plant-based diet.
More than 99.2% of US food is produced on land while less than .8% comes from oceans and other aquatic ecosystems.
Each year about 90% of US cropland loses soil at a rate 13 times above the sustainable rate of 1 ton.
Agricultural production consumes more freshwater than any other activity in the US.