By how much would a simple, healthier diet reduce your risk of dying compared to a vegetarian and a vegan diet? A new study tried to answer this question by comparing these three diets across the world.
We’ve been guilty of polluting the environment with plastic for a long time and there’s an ever-increasing amount of data showing the extent of the problem. A very recent study assessed the presence of plastic debris in fish and shellfish on sale for human consumption in Indonesia and California.
In Indonesia, plastic was found in 28 per cent of individual fish and in 55 per cent of all species. The majority was plastic fragments but also considerable amount of plastic foam was found, accompanied by plastic film and plastic monofilament line.
Evidence is mounting against red and processed meat with links to all Western diseases
A comprehensive review of major studies on red and processed meat consumption presents a very convincing case against meat-based diets. The accumulated evidence links red and processed meat consumption to diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, several types of cancer and premature mortality.
As more and more plant milks are popping up, you may be wondering about their health benefits and how they compare to cow's milk. Veronika Powell explores the milky landscape
Firstly, let's have a proper look at what any milk actually is - a very watery liquid, around 90 per cent is always water. Therefore, any amount of nutrients it contains is more or less diluted and any health effects depend on how much of it you drink.
Demands on food production are ever-increasing and meeting them is proving to be a substantial challenge all over the world. Authors of a recently published study decided to investigate how the world’s crops are allocated to different uses and whether it is possible to feed more people with current levels of crop production. Their detailed calculations revealed that 36 per cent of calories produced by the world’s crops are currently being used for animal feed and only 12 per cent of these feed calories eventually find their way into the human diet as meat and other animal products.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that vegan women have significantly more omega-3 fats (the good fats we are constantly being told to eat) in their blood than fish-eaters, meat-eaters, and lacto-ovo vegetarians. Vegan men had slightly lower levels than vegan women but the same pattern was observed in the other groups as well and was thought to be linked to female hormones influencing the metabolism to a certain extent. An astonishing 14,422 men and women aged 39 to 78 participated in this study.
A landmark study from Harvard University predicts mercury levels in the Pacific Ocean will rise 50 per cent by 2050 if emission rates continue as expected. Mercury rapidly accumulates up the food chain in the sea to potentially dangerous levels in larger fish such as tuna. Previous studies show that 75 per cent of the mercury people are exposed to comes from eating marine fish and shell fish.
You can improve your health and do your part for the environment by going veggie. Researchers from California looked at the diets of 34,000 people of which around half were vegetarians. They found that meaty diets required 2.9 times more water, 2.5 times more energy, 13 times more fertiliser and 1.4 times more pesticides than the vegetarian diets. Lead author Dr Hal Marlow said “Almost everyone has some knowledge that it costs less environmentally or is healthier to be a vegetarian, but there’s no understanding yet of really what that means until you put some numbers behind it.”
Yet another report reveals the impact of meat production on global warming. This study, from the German consumer protection organisation Foodwatch, says that giving up meat could drastically reduce your carbon footprint. Meat-eaters’ diets are responsible for almost twice the emissions as vegetarians’ and going vegan could cut your emissions more than seven-fold.
Going veggie can help slow global warming. A new report in the Lancet shows how you can reduce greenhouse gases by cutting down the amount of meat you eat. The report says reducing meat consumption would cut the gases emitted by cows, sheep and goats that contribute to global warming. It would also improve health in general, reducing the numbers of people with heart disease and cancer. Livestock production accounts for over one fifth of total greenhouse gas emissions. This is similar to that of industry and greater than that of all the worlds’ transport!
The hidden costs of eating meat and dairy foods could be costing us the earth. An increased awareness of the effects of greenhouse gas emissions has led many of us to cut down on the amount of driving we do. Others choose not to fly in an effort to limit their personal contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. Some people try to buy local produce to limit the ‘food miles’ travelled by their food.