The average vegan has an increased rate of consumption of fruits and vegetables compared to an omnivore, as well as a lower rate of consumption of refined grains.
OWEN ROGERS: ‘A research study speculates that if the U.S. went vegan, it would have dire consequences. Is it accurate, or a lesson in reading scientific literature critically?… This study seems to spell bad news for a plant-based diet: after simulating the disappearance of all animal agriculture, researchers find that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 2.6%, though we would increase our deficiency of certain essential nutrients and produce an excess of food. This is a common refrain for anti-vegan advocates: there may be some modest benefits, but it’s an unsustainable system at a large scale. When looking at this study, however, there are several issues that may suggest otherwise beg a second look, starting with the fact that both authors have a background in animal and dairy science. However, that alone is not enough to discount their findings – we have to look at their methods.
The average vegan has an increased rate of consumption of fruits and vegetables compared to an omnivore, as well as a lower rate of consumption of refined grains. So, if the entire country adopted a vegan diet, we would expect an increased demand for fruits and vegetables. The authors, however, replace virtually all animal products with grains… So despite real-world vegans’ increasing demand for fruits and vegetables, the authors’ simulated diets actually decrease the consumption of these foods. Why? The authors’ model assumes that the U.S. agricultural system would continue to produce the same crops that it currently does. This, despite the fact that the vast majority of corn and soy – our two biggest crops – are not intended for human consumption’. SOURCE…