Concerned about where the planetary diet might be taking the planetary climate? Then take heart from a recent study which posits that global denizens have made a lot of progress in adopting food-consumption practices that already have taken a bite out of climate change.
Turns out that changing dietary patterns in the United States over the past 15 years already have cut the carbon footprint of national food consumption by more than 35%, according to a study published last year in the Journal of Cleaner Production and led by Clare Bassi, who was then with University of Wisconsin and now is with Third Economy, a sustainability consultancy.
Lower consumption of beef, dairy, chicken, pork, and eggs accounted for more than 75% of the observed diet-related carbon dioxide savings during the study period, with beef alone being responsible for nearly half the drop.
“National greenhouse gas savings from dietary changes alone” over the course of the study period from 2003 to 2018 “are roughly equivalent to offsetting emissions from every single passenger vehicle in the country for nearly two years,” Bassi told On Wisconsin magazine. The study analyzed eating habits reported by more than 39,000 adults in a national survey.
Demographics mattered little: Bassi’s study showed that the diets of every subgroup of Americans categorized by factors including sex, age, race, and household income showed a 30% to 50% reduction in responsibility for diet-related greenhouse gas emissions.
More progress is needed, however. The U.S. diet-related carbon footprint in 2018, the study found, was still twice as high as global targets for minimizing global warming.
“People’s actions are making a difference,” Bassi said. “But we still have a long way to go.”
A Business FIRST panel of research and development professionals held at IFT FIRST on July 19 discussed how to adapt and innovate within the ever-changing food product development landscape.
Hundreds of IFT FIRST Innovation Lab visitors took part in an immersive product development exercise on the Food Expo floor.
Three of the 14 winners of the second annual Seeding The Future Global Food System Challenge shared their respective visions for improving the global food system in the Tuesday morning keynote at IFT FIRST.
In this column, the author describes the safety, quality, and nutritional challenges of developing novel plant-based protein foods.
Abigail Stevenson, Mars chief science officer, says a long-term culture of driving advances in science and technology aims to ignite future-proof innovation for the business, people, pets, and the planet.
Chef Hinson Lau, R&D executive chef at startup MìLà, offers insight on the many hats he wears—from product development to customer relations.
ow Manoj Bhargava, founder of 5-hour ENERGY keeps the brand fresh and expands it.
IFT Members have 24/7 access to a wealth of digital content designed to help them solve problems, expand their knowledge, and gain insights that will help them perform their jobs better, faster, and more efficiently. We’ve curated a collection of sustainability-themed, on demand presentations from last year’s IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo just for members, plus our exclusive series on food waste from Food Technology magazine.
IFT weighs in on the agency’s future in the wake of the Reagan-Udall Report and FDA Commissioner Califf’s response.
Learn how IFT boosts connections, efficiencies, and inspiration for its members.
In a new white paper, our experts examine the FDA’s Food Traceability Final Rule implications—and its novel concepts first proposed by IFT.
IFT’s 2022 Compensation and Career Path Report breaks it down.