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Vegan diets maybe good for environment: study

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Vegan diets, which are rich in plant-based organic foods, may be better for the the planet than one high in animal products, a study has found.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, is the first to investigate the environmental impacts of both dietary patterns and

It is also the first to investigate the environmental impact of organic consumption using observed rather than models, researchers said.

Many organisations, including the UN's and Agriculture Organization, advocate the urgent adoption of more sustainable at a global level.

Such include reduced consumption of animal products, which have a higher environmental impact than plant-based products.

This is mainly due to the of livestock farming as well as the very large contribution of livestock to

Intensive livestock production is also responsible for significant biodiversity loss due to conversion of natural habitats to grass and feed crops.

The method of production may also influence sustainable diets, researchers said.

Organic agriculture is generally considered more environmentally friendly than other modern production techniques.

However, while many studies have investigated environmentally sustainable diets, these have rarely considered both dietary choices and the production method of the foods consumed.

"We wanted to provide a more comprehensive picture of how different diets impact the environment," said from the French Agence De L'Environnement Et De La Maitrise De L'Energie and the

"In particular, it is of considerable interest to consider the impacts of both plant-based foods and organic foods," said Seconda.

To do this, researchers obtained information on food intake and consumption from more than 34,000 French adults.

They used what is called a 'provegetarian' score to determine preferences for plant-based or animal-based food products.

The researchers also conducted production life cycle environmental impact assessments at the farm level against three environmental indicators: greenhouse gas emissions, and land occupation.

"Combining consumption and farm production data we found that across the board, diet-related environmental impacts were reduced with a - particularly greenhouse gas emissions," said Seconda.

"The consumption of added even more environmental benefits for a In contrast, consumption of did not add significant benefits to diets with high contribution from and only moderate contribution from plant products," she said.

However the researchers caution that the environmental effects of production systems are not uniform and can be impacted by climate, soil types and

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 11 2018. 13:45 IST