Eco-friendly tips to help meat eaters cut down

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On July 18 American non-profit organization the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released the results of a study into the environmental impact of meat and dairy consumption. The report recommends that consumers eat less and 'greener' meat and offers advice on how to do so. 

The report by the EWG, titled "Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change and Health," concluded that if every person in the US refrained from eating meat or cheese one day a week every week for a year the reduction in emissions would be equivalent of taking 7.6 million cars off the road.

The report acknowledges the environmental impact of meats compared to vegetable proteins, noting that beef produces 13 times the emissions of food stuffs such as lentils, but acknowledges that a large-scale move towards a vegetarian or vegan diet is unlikely.

However, the report, which is available online at http://bit.ly/qWwoV3 , offers consumers tips on how to cut down on meat or dairy consumption and how to buy greener meat including:

-          Participating in meatless and cheese-less Mondays ( http://www.meatlessmonday.com )
-          Buying appropriately sized portions and eating all you buy
-          Eating lower fat and organic dairy products

On buying 'greener' meat the report recommends 

-          Buying grass-fed meat  
-          Buying organic meats
-          Avoiding processed meats such as hot dogs
-          Avoiding air freighted fish

The report by the EWG is hosted on an interactive website which includes a quiz about meat production and a downloadable chart comparing the consumption of different foods with miles driven.  The full report is available at http://breakingnews.ewg.org/meateatersguide/helpful-tips-for-meat-eaters/.

Numerous other reports in the past by organizations such as the UN have also indentified the excessive consumption of meat as a cause of climate change. 

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