White people are already accused of hogging the majority of jobs, film roles, and housing — and now they’re getting blamed for eating up Earth’s natural resources, too.
Caucasian populations are disproportionately contributing to climate change through their eating habits, which uses up more food — and emits more greenhouse gases — than the typical diets of black and Latinx communities, according to a new report published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.
Researchers tracked information from multiple databases to identify foods considered “environmentally intense” by requiring more precious resources such as water, land and energy to produce — and, as a result, releasing more greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide through production and distribution.
Potatoes, beef, apples and milk are some of the worst offenders.
“The food pipeline — which includes its production, distribution and waste — contributes significantly to climate change through the production of greenhouse gases and requires significant amounts of water and land, which also has environmental effects,” says Joe Bozeman, a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who helped author the study.
The EPA provided data on per capita food consumption rates for more than 500 foods groups, including water, plus estimates from the NIH on individual diets. Data showed that whites produced an average of 680 kilograms of the CO2 each year, attributable to food and drink, whereas Latinx individuals produced 640 kilograms, and blacks 600.
They also found the diets of white people required 328,000 liters of water on average per year. Latinx used just 307,000 liters, and blacks 311,800. Both black and Latinx individuals used more land per capita with 1,770 and 1,710 square meters per year, respectively, than white people with just 1,550. Nevertheless, white people still made the greatest overall contribution to climate change.
“While the difference may not be enormous, these numbers are per individual, and when you add up all those individuals, it’s very clear that whites are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gases emitted as a result of their food choices,” says Bozeman.
Story cited here.
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