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American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- April 30, 2008
Date:5/5/2008

ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fighting global warming at the dinner table
Environmental Science & Technology

Substituting chicken, fish, or vegetables for red meat just once a week can help combat climate change even more dramatically than buying locally sourced food, according to scientists in Pennsylvania who studied the environmental impacts of food production and distribution in the United States. The study is scheduled for the May 15 issue of ACSs bi-weekly journal Environmental Science & Technology.

In the study, Christopher L. Weber and H. Scott Matthews explain that environmental advocates and retailers have urged customers to purchase goods from local sources to minimize environmental impacts. Despite this emphasis on buying local, the researchers point out that few studies in the U. S. have compared greenhouse gas emissions from food production to those of transportation.

Weber and Matthews found that the production phase dominates the average U.S. households greenhouse-gas burden contributing 83 percent of them whereas transportation accounts for only 11 percent. Red meat, according to the report, is almost 150 percent more greenhouse-gas-intensive than chicken or fish.

Thus, we suggest that dietary shift can be a more effective means of lowering an average households food-related climate footprint than buying local, the paper says. Shifting less than one day per weeks worth of calories from red meat and dairy products to chicken, fish, eggs, or a vegetable-based diet achieves more greenhouse-gas reduction than buying all locally sourced food. JS

ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es702969f

CONTACT:
Christopher L. Weber
Carnegie Mellon University <
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Contact: Michael Woods
m_woods@acs.org
202-872-4400
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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