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Mythcrusher Video Focuses on 'Meatless Monday'

American Meat Institute says meatless Monday's environmental benefits are negligible

Published on: Aug 23, 2013

Saving the environment by eating less meat has been a motivation for Meatless Monday supporters, but a new Meat MythCrusher video challenges those claims.

The video, produced by the American Meat Institute and the American Meat Science Association, features an interview with Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D, Associate Professor and Air Quality Specialist in Cooperative Extension at the University of California-Davis, who discredits the belief that cutting meat from your diet one day a week can have a significant environmental benefit.

Mitloehner cites Environmental Protection Agency data showing that U.S. meat production has a carbon footprint of 3.4%, and beef production 1.4%. Using that data, if everyone were to cut out beef from their diet one day per week, it would lead to a .2% greenhouse gas reduction.

American Meat Institute says meatless Mondays environmental benefits are negligible
American Meat Institute says meatless Monday's environmental benefits are negligible

"Your transportation choices and your heating and cooling choices have your greatest impact on your carbon footprint, there's no doubt about that." Mitloehner says. "Your food choices also have an impact on your carbon footprint, but it's relatively minor compared to the others."

Mitloehner also highlights the environmental benefits of today's modern production systems and challenges the idea that a vegetarian driving a Hummer has less of a carbon footprint than a meat eater driving a Prius, which was cited by researchers associated with the recent in-vitro meat burger tasting.

"The difference between driving a Prius and driving a Hummer is huge and people who use that comparison use it intentionally to mislead the public," Mitloehner says.

The Meat MythCrusher video series includes more than 25 videos and has accumulated more than 40,000 views on YouTube since its launch in 2011.

Other video topics include myths surrounding hormone use in animals, ammonia in ground beef, grass-fed beef and more. View the videos at www.meatmythcrushers.com.