Tim Radford, CLIMATE NEWS NETWORK
US-based research has found that even a modest switch to a more vegetable-based diet could lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Scientists have worked out how to combat climate change and improve human health, one mouthful at a time.
The answer is a familiar one: they calculate that a relatively modest switch towards a more vegetable-based diet could, in the US at least, lead to a reduction of 222kg in greenhouse gas emissions per person per year, while cutting the relative risk of coronary heart disease, colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes by 20% to 40%.
It could also reduce US healthcare costs by at least $77bn a year and possibly $93bn.
The US spends $3tn on healthcare every year – 18% of gross domestic product – and a significant proportion of health costs are associated with obesity and illnesses linked to diet.