Americans most likely to eat beef were men or people aged 50 to 65, a study found.vectorjuice/Getty ImagesJust 12% of Americans are eating half of all the beef consumed in the US in a day, a study found.Those most likely to eat beef were men or people aged 50 to 65.There could be benefits for the planet even if only some people ditched beef for another protein.Americans savoring the last bits of summer this Labor Day weekend might be barbecuing, picnicking, or trying a new restaurant.There’s a good chance beef is on the menu, especially for men or people ages 50 to 65.These two groups were more likely to eat a disproportionate amount of beef in a day, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients.
About 12% of Americans reported that kind of diet, accounting for half the nation’s beef consumption that day.The study, which was partially funded by the environmental advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity, could help target educational and marketing campaigns that encourage more climate-friendly diets, Diego Rose, a coauthor of the study and professor and nutrition program director at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, told Insider.The food and agriculture industry accounts for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions globally, driven in part by cattle that burp methane and require vast swaths of land to graze on.
Beef produces an estimated 8 to 10 times more emissions than chicken, and 50 times more than beans.”Beef is an environmentally extravagant protein,” Rose said.
“It’s kind of like the Hummer of animal proteins.”Rose added that he didn’t expect such a small percentage of Americans to account for an outsized amount of beef consumption.”This was a big surprise to us,” he said.A “disproportionate” amount of beef was defined as four or more ounces a day — similar to a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder before it’s cooked.
US Agriculture Department guidelines suggest eating four ounces per day of meat, poultry, and eggs combined for those eating 2,200 calories in a day.McDonald’s Quarter Pounder.Erin McDowell/InsiderResearchers analyzed data from a federal nutrition survey that asks more than 10,000 adults to report what they ate during the previous 24-hour period.
Rose acknowledged this was a limitation of the study, because what people ate in one day might not be typical of their regular diets.Still, the findings suggest there could be big benefits for the planet even if only a small number of people swap out beef for another protein.
After all, the US is the second-largest beef consumer per-capita in the world behind Argentina.Some people will be resistant to change, Rose said, noting that beef is often entangled with the culture wars and the American identity.
But others might not realize how much they’re eating and be open to substituting beef for another protein with a lower carbon footprint.”We tend to think of beef as a steak or a brisket,” Rose said.
“But that’s about one-third of what’s consumed on any given day.
The other two-thirds are from mixed dishes like soups, stews, pastas, and burritos.
There’s a way to cut back on beef in all of those dishes if you’re concerned about your health or the environment.”Read the original article on Business Insider View comments