A new study conducted in China reveals that reducing meat production would help avoid thousands of premature deathsDon't store avocado like this: it's dangerous
A new study conducted in China reveals that reducing meat production would help avoid thousands of premature deaths from pollution
75 thousand: it is the disturbing figure of premature deaths that occur every year only in China due to pollution. Yet all of these deaths could be avoided, according to a new study. How? The answer is simple: by reducing the consumption of meat, since most of the emissions of greenhouse gases and ammonia come from factory farms.
This is confirmed by a new study conducted by researchers from Hong Kong and appeared in the journal Food Nature, which warns about the consequences of growing meat production, especially in countries such as China. In this nation, ammonia gas emissions from the agricultural sector have increased by more than 60% since the 80s, which is when the Chinese population began to overindulge in meat consumption.
The Chinese population has increased dramatically over the past 30 years and the amount of meat consumed by each person has also increased, from about 30 grams per day to more than 150 grams per day - explains Hong Kong University professor Amos Tai Pui - kuen, who led the study - Hong Kongers eat even more, about 200 grams per person every day.
Read also: Consumption of red meat increases the onset of colorectal cancers, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease
Excessive consumption of meat is harmful to the environment, but also to health
The growing demand for meat in China has seen production increase by 433% between 1980 and 2010. Research shows how cutting meat consumption could greatly improve air quality, especially in the most polluted countries in the world.
According to Professor Amos Tai, ammonia released into the air reacts with other pollutants to form fine particulate PM2,5, which manages to accumulate in the lungs, even ending up in the blood.
All of this leads to respiratory diseases, including lung cancer, and exposes people to heart problems.
According to the team of Chinese researchers, only by reducing the production of meat and consequently the PM2,5 by 20% in the air, 75 thousand premature deaths could be avoided.
Of course, we cannot undo the damage that has already been done, but what we can do is switch to a diet consisting mainly of vegetables with smaller portions of meat, ”commented Amos Tai Pui-kuen.
Finally, the study underlines the importance of working on education in order to promote a diet that is more health-friendly, as well as the environment. And this is not only true for China ...
Fonte: Nature Food/South China Morning Post
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