Indian Dietary Guidelines Have Smallest Carbon Footprint: Prof Diego Rose, Tulane University
In a recent study by the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, US, comparing carbon footprint of the dietary guidelines from seven different countries, the Indian dietary guidelines proved to cause the least damage to the environment.
The study examines the key contributors to carbon emissions and consumption differences between countries. The countries selected for study were Germany, India, the Netherlands, Oman, Thailand, Uruguay, and the United States. These were used to structure recommended diets using six food groups: protein foods, dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and oils/fats.
The report states that the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) used to produce the foods in these consumption patterns were linked from the researcher’s database, constructed from an exhaustive review of the life cycle assessment literature. All guidelines were scaled to a 2000-kcal diet.
Speaking to CSP, Professor and Director of Nutrition at Tulane University Diego Rose says “India's dietary recommendations had the lowest carbon footprint mainly because the recommended amount for protein foods was lower than any of the other countries we studied and because India recommends plant protein foods (i.e., pulses) to meet that goal. In general, producing animal foods contributes many times the greenhouse gas emissions as does an equivalent amount of plant foods.”
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