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Thursday, September 13, 2007

less meat eases global warming

Study in U.S. shows eating less meat could not only improve health in general but also help slow global warming by reducing the number of livestock and thereby decreasing the amount of methane flatulence from the animals, media reported Thursday.

Researchers said reducing global red meat consumption by 10 percent would cut the gases emitted by cows, sheep and goats that contribute to global warming.

"If people knew that they were threatening the environment by eating more meat, they might think twice before ordering a burger," said Geri Brewster, a nutritionist at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York,U.S.

Other ways of reducing greenhouse gases from farming practices, like feeding animals higher-quality grains, would only have a limited impact on cutting emissions. Gases from animals destined for dinner plates account for nearly a quarter of all emissions worldwide.

Experts said that it would probably take decades to wane the public off of its meat-eating tendency. "We need to better understand the implications of our diet," said Dr. Maria Neira, director of director of the World Health Organization's department of public health and the environment.

"It is an interesting theory that needs to be further examined," she said. "But eating less meat could definitely be one way to reduce gas emissions and climate change

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