Beans Instead of Beef

Written by Tom Orr, ESLLC 2016-2017

A group of researchers from four different Universities has concluded through their studies that if Americans would eat beans instead of beef then the United States would reach 50 to 75% of its GHG reduction targets for the year 2020. This simple dietary change, albeit a hard thing for most people to do, could drastically improve our chances at repairing the damage we have already done to our environment. Understandably, some people would refuse to give up “good old American beef” for beans, however, this just goes to show what daily life changes are capable of. We don’t all have to give up our favorite food, but by practicing a more sustainable way of life you can make a difference.

“The researchers explained that beef cattle are the most GHG-intensive food to produce and that the production of legumes (beans, peas, etc.) results in one-fortieth the amount of GHGs as beef.” (Science Daily)

According to their research making the switch from beans to beef could also help alleviate global temperature changes. “The study also found that beef production is surprisingly a very inefficient use of agricultural land. Using beans instead of beef would free around 42 percent of U.S. cropland currently being used, a total of more than 400 million square acres.

What this shows us is that the issue of climate change is something that everyone can help with. You don’t have to be a politician or a world leader to make a difference. If something so little as getting beans instead of beef on a more regular basis is all that needs to be done in order to ensure a better future then who wouldn’t want to do what they can.



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