U.N. Report Says Eat Less Meat, Expert Says Not so Fast

UN Food Supply Report 081219
Two efforts call for change for the sake of human and environmental health ( Wyatt Bechtel )

A new report from the United Nations looks at ways to curb climate change, through changing land use. Some organizations took the report as consumers should eat less meat, but one animal scientist says that's not the case.

The U.N. report is from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, or IPPC. It looked into ways to reduce the impact on climate change.

Frank Mitloehner is an air quality specialist with the University of California-Davis.  He says the media coverage is focused on the wrong path for solutions.  Instead of focusing on eating less meat, he thinks people are being misled on what's really attributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Mitloehner said, "Going vegan for one year is half the impact of one transatlantic flight, so what I'm saying here is not that there's no impact, there certainly is an impact, but it is other day to day life choices that we make that are way more environmentally harmful, and by focusing on the burger, and that's where a lot of the focus is on, we are pretty much giving the rest a get-out-of-jail-free card, and that is not where we need to go with respect to lowering climate change impact."

According to the EPA, the livestock industry in the U.S. contributes to less than 4% of all greenhouse gas emissions.  Mitloehner says that compares to industries like transportation, power production, and cement that contribute to 80% of greenhouse gasses.