Ninety-four percent of Americans are willing to eat more plant-based foods, and about half are willing to eat more vegan meat and dairy alternatives, according to a new report from the Earth Day Network and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. The report, called “Climate Change and the American Diet,” interviewed 1,043 adults to obtain insights on consumer food habits related to climate change. Researchers found that more than half of Americans surveyed said they would eat more plant-based foods if they had more information about the environmental impact of their food choices. Nearly two-thirds of Americans surveyed reported having never been asked to eat more plant-based foods, and more than half rarely or never hear about the topic in the media. Although most Americans think that the production of meat contributes at least “a little” to global warming, many do not make the connection between food and global warming. Yet Americans who are “alarmed” or “concerned” about global warming are more willing than other Americans to adopt a more plant-based diet and engage in pro-climate food behaviors. The report notes that food production is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, with animal agriculture contributing to the highest levels of emissions. “Globally, changes to food production and consumption, including reducing food waste and shifting to a more plant-based diet, are critical to reducing global warming and other environmental impacts,” the reports says.
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