Eat smaller steaks to protect planet!

Sarah Bridle, Physics Professor at the University of Manchester, talked to ELN about how the size of our meals can have a big difference on carbon dioxide emissions

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Can’t wait to have that juicy steak or that barbeque with your mates? Well, cut down your portion size to save the planet.

That’s the message from boffins at the University of Manchester, who told us cutting back on the portions of meat we eat we can make a big difference.

Physics Professor Sarah Bridle said: “If someone is eating an eight-ounce steak regularly, then they can halve the greenhouse gas emissions of that meal very easily by cutting back on the amount of steak, if that’s what they want to.”

She recently participated in a panel discussing the future of food at Cheltenham Science Festival and she talked about how halving the weight of a steak cooked for a normal meal or dinner can reduce the carbon footprint: “I showed an example of a big contrast between two options.

“One was an eight-ounce steak and chips or fries for dinner versus a microwaved potato of beans. I talked about how for an average European steak, that would cause about 20 times more climate impact than the potato and beans.”

“It turns out about a quarter of all of our climate impacts come from food.

“I think in ten years’ time, hopefully, if we have switched to clean energy, then food will be the biggest cause of climate change.”

Professor Bridle leads the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Food Network and the Greenhouse Gas and Dietary choices Open source Toolkit (GGDOT), which brings data scientists together with expertise on food psychology, nutrition and life cycle analysis with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food choices.

Listen to the interview.

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