In some parts of the world, it may appear as if plant-based foods are becoming more common in people’s diets, but in other parts of the world, the consumption of meat and other animal products is increasing. For this reason, there is a growing concern that this trend will not only increase the incidence of noncommunicable chronic diseases but also decrease the sustainability of natural resources. A recent study compared the global impacts of disease-fighting foods and animal foods.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota and Oxford University compared the environmental effects of producing certain nutrient-dense foods associated with lowering disease risks to the environmental effects of certain animal products. The study focused on the production of chicken, dairy products, eggs, fish, legumes, nuts, olive oil, potatoes, red meat (processed and unprocessed), vegetables, and whole-grain and refined-grain cereals and each food’s association with five health outcomes: colon cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and death.
The study’s findings indicate that among the foods included in the study, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and whole grains have fewer detrimental impacts on environmental metrics such as greenhouse gases, land use, and water use. These are also the food groups that previous research indicates provide the most health benefits, including lowering the risk for colon cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and death. In contrast, unprocessed and processed red meats (i.e., beef, pork, lamb, and goat) are associated with a significant increase in risk for the aforementioned health outcomes (as well as other chronic diseases) and have the greatest negative impact on environmental resources. The study also indicates that chicken, dairy products, eggs, and refined grains had no significant impacts on either disease risk or environmental metrics.
The study’s authors hope the findings influence global populations to make better food choices that improve not only their health outcomes but also the planet.
In this podcast, we discuss food safety culture, including how food safety culture is established, measured, and how they are expected to change in light of ongoing advancements in food science and policy. Our guests include Hugo Gutierrez, Global Food Safety and Quality Officer for Kerry, and Bob Gravani, Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Director Emeritus of the National Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Program at Cornell University.
The dangers of a high-sodium diet have been well documented, but a new technology devised by scientists from Washington State University could help reduce sodium in processed foods while retaining taste and texture.
Functional and upcycled ingredients, global flavors, plant-based alternatives, fun mash-ups, and portable solutions wake up traditional breakfast CPGs.
An update on the trends in healthy snacks and the ingredients used in formulating them
This column describes the main components of an ingredients label and examples of clean and standard food labels.
This column describes top niche food and beverage categories with recent high sales gains.
Hot new products include meatless steak strips, natural hummus snacks, and plant-based meat for burgers, meatballs, and breakfast patties.
Scientists from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus.
The report, prepared by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service in coordination with the Office of the Chief Economist, summarizes market conditions, fed cattle prices, boxed beef values, and the spread before and after the fire and plant closure at the Tyson Holcomb, Kan., plant, and before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released a draft approach that aims to harmonize assessments of the intake of these nutrients, the potentially hazardous properties of excessive intakes, and the overall risks for consumers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that routine inspections of small businesses to verify compliance with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Intentional Adulteration (IA) rule will begin in March 2021.