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Eliminating Animals from U.S. Agriculture Would Yield Significant Nutrient Deficiencies, Have Negligible Impact on GHG Emissions

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

(North American Meat Institute)

Removing animals from U.S. agriculture would create a food supply incapable of supporting the U.S. population's nutritional requirements, while only reducing total U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an estimated 2.6 percent, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers found that plants-only diets would result in a greater excess of dietary energy, an increased reliance on food solids and significant deficiencies in essential nutrients. In particular, eliminating animal-derived foods from consumption would cause insufficient dietary intakes of calcium; arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic fatty acids; and vitamins A and B12. The researchers conclude the removal of animals produced diets that are nonviable in the long- or short-term to support the nutritional needs of the U.S. population without adequate nutrient supplementation.

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