Hungry Hungry Humans: Study Shows We’re Eating More Meat

New study finds humans are moving higher up the food chain

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Must be all that bacon hype.

A new study examining how human eating patterns have shifted over time found a rise in fat and meat consumption has pushed us further up the food chain and closer to predators like polar bears, with potentially adverse impacts on ecosystems, Scientific American reports.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, the study measured the human trophic level — that is, where humans sit on the food chain — for 176 countries, each year from 1961 to 2009. It used data on 102 types of food listed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Sylvain Bonhommeau, a fisheries scientist who led the study, found the global median human trophic level jumped 3 percent over 50 years.

Researchers calculate human tropic levels to better understand our place in the ecosystem and the human impact on the environment. Experts said producing meat has a larger impact on the environment than producing vegetables.

The increase in meat consumption is being led in part by rapidly growing economies in China and India.

“If we all increase our trophic level, we’ll start to have a bigger impact on ecosystems,” Bonhommeau said.

4 comments
CreativeFrugalH
CreativeFrugalH

It's much healthier to eat plants. Get grains and groats as well as beans or lentils, add some veggies and you have a great, unprocessed, nutritious meal (learn how to prepare it here http://creativefrugalhealthy.com/). Buy some whole wheat or spelt flour and bake your own bread - it is much more filling and nutrient-dense that the supermarket spongy junk people know as bread. No need for meat at all.

Jodun
Jodun

The four basic food groups: Beef, Chicken, Pork and The White Stuff in the middle of a Twinkie (good as food or nuclear reactor shielding, take your pick).

Vegetables? There's a reason that Mr. Yuck is green! Them's what you feed to food, they ain't food!