Thursday, July 24, 2008

A healthy diet could shave 10 pct off your energy footprint

About 20 percent of total US energy consumption goes towards making food. But according to a Cornell University study we could cut that percentage in half if we make smart diet choices, reports New Scientist.

On average, Americans consume 3,747 calories per day, which takes about 528 gallons of oil to produce, or 20 percent of total energy use.

Since it takes about seven pounds of plant protein to make one pound of animal protein, if we all turned into vegetarians, we could cut the energy needed to create our food by a third.

If we stop eating so much junk food, which is "energetically expensive to produce," that would help, too. For example, it takes 2,100 calories of energy to create 12 ounces of soda (which has 0 to 150 calories depending on what you're drinking). And that doesn't even consider the energy it takes to make the can!

A bigger problem is transporting the food. On average, our food travels 1,500 miles. "This requires 1.4 times the energy actually contained in the food."

All in all, going vegetarian, cutting out junk food and eating stuff produced closer to home could cut the energy we use to produce our food in half. That's a 10 percent drop in our energy consumption.

No comments:

Pound360 Archive

About Me

My photo
I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.