Your Diet Has Almost Zero Climate Impact

It’s all the rage these days for companies to tell people their products are better for the earth. That’s increasingly the case with food, too, with companies touting their products as better for the environment.

But here’s what they don’t tell you: Your individual diet has almost no environmental impact whatsoever.

Skeptical? Let’s consider meat.

According to the “experts,” we should reduce our meat consumption, particularly beef, to help fight climate change. The plant-based fake meat industry markets heavily on this narrative, claiming their products use fewer resources.

There’s a lot wrong with these arguments–starting with the fact that ranching has environmental benefits–but let’s leave that aside for now.

Instead, let’s cut to the meat of the matter: What would happen if we all went vegan?

First of all, we’d probably be a lot grumpier without being able to enjoy bacon, cheese, and butter. Potentially it would also cause a “nutritional nightmare.” But as far as greenhouse gas emissions are concerned, there wouldn’t be a huge impact.

In a study, researchers calculated that if all 300-plus million Americans went vegan, it would only reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by only 2.6 percent.

And that’s just in the U.S.–which itself is a relatively small slice of overall global emissions.

Here’s another way to look at it: If you went vegan, you would reduce U.S. emissions by 0.0000008%.

A recent story reported that 40% of all environmental claims in marketing could be misleading. When it comes to food marketing, in all likelihood it’s much higher. What you choose to eat has almost no environmental impact.

So whether you’re enjoying a packet of almonds or a nice juicy burger, don’t feel guilty.

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