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Help the planet and yourself by avoiding sweets


red meat is bad for health and also for the environment. We know that. But here’s something that might surprise you: Cutting out sweets and cakes can be just as important.

Researchers who reviewed 20 studies on the environmental impacts of food consumption in Australia found that the country emits more than 500 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. Of this amount, food-related emission sources represent more than 14%.

On average, Australians produce nearly 20 kg of carbon dioxide a day through their diets, not to mention the pollution that food production can cause to the environment, according to scientists.

Of the so-called staple foods, meat, grains and dairy contribute the majority of the country’s food-related emissions, while fruits and vegetables are the two least, not surprisingly.

Sweets, cakes and sugary drinks

However, it appears that the production of “non-essential” foods such as sugary drinks, alcohol, confectionery and processed meats also generates between 27% and 33% of food-related greenhouse gas emissions.

“Although the percentage is less than staple food emissions, the fact that Australians consume large amounts of foods high in energy and low in avoidable nutrients ​​doesn’t help the environment.” they point the scientists.

While these “discretionary” foods harm the environment, they also harm people’s health. Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, highly processed foods, sweets, and pastries has been linked to chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and coronary heart disease.

“Discretionary foods have a larger area, water scarcity and ecological footprint. Meat also emits greenhouse gases, although its water scarcity footprint is smaller compared to dairy, grains, cereals, fruits and vegetables,” explains Sara Forbes, nutritionist at the University of South Australia who led the study .

“It’s time to better recognize the environmental impacts of the type and amount of food we eat, considering the planet and our health,” adds Forbes.

“By 2050, the world population will reach 10 billion people. There is no way for us to feed so many people unless we change the way we eat and produce food. “

By Daniel T. Cross. Article in English

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