So is vegetarian really best?


Ultimately, we cannot say that eating a vegan or vegetarian or meat diet is any better for the environment. This is because all can be appropriate if production systems are sustainable, there is no waste and positive health outcomes are achieved. There are clearly trade-offs in choosing foods. Air freighting of green beans from Kenya into the UK was seen as unsustainable because of air miles but it also supports up to 1.5m people and livelihoods in some of the poorest regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. It's not just meat that increase greenhouse gases. Rice -- produced on 163m hectares, around 12% of the global arable area -- has one of the greatest plant carbon footprints because it produces a lot of methane.

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So is vegetarian really best?