Saving the environment by eating less meat has been a rallying cry of Meatless Monday supporters, but a new Meat MythCrusher video challenges those claims. The video features an interview with Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D, Associate Professor and Air Quality Specialist in Cooperative Extension at the University of California, Davis, who discusses several common myths about modern meat production including the myth that cutting meat from your diet one day a week can have a significant environmental benefit.
Mitloehner cites Environmental Protection Agency data showing that U.S. meat production has a carbon footprint of 3.4 percent, and beef production 1.4 percent. Using that data, if everyone were to cut out beef from their diet one day per week, it would lead to a .2 percent greenhouse gas reduction.
“Your transportation choices and your heating and cooling choices have your greatest impact on your carbon footprint, there’s no doubt about that.” Mitloehner says. “Your food choices also have an impact on your carbon footprint, but it’s relatively minor compared to the others.”
Mitloehner also highlights the environmental benefits of today’s modern, efficient systems and challenges idea that a vegetarian driving a Hummer has less of a carbon footprint than a meat eater driving a Prius, which was cited by researchers associated with the recent in-vitro meat burger tasting.
“The difference between driving a Prius and driving a Hummer is huge and people who use that comparison use it intentionally to mislead the public,” Mitloehner says.
The Meat MythCrusher video series is produced by the American Meat Institute (AMI), in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association (AMSA), and seeks to bust some of the most common myths surrounding meat and poultry production and processing.
The series includes more than 25 videos and has accumulated more than 40,000 views on YouTube since its launch in 2011. Other video topics include myths surrounding hormone use in animals, ammonia in ground beef, grass-fed beef and more.
All of the videos and more are available at http://www.meatmythcrushers.com/.