A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment has revealed that industrial beef production and farmed catfish have the highest environmental impact among different types of animal protein production. Researchers also noted that farmed molluscs, salmons, and small capture fisheries have lower impact on the environment as compared to plant-based diets.
The study is based on nearly a decade of analysis, in which the researchers reviewed hundreds of published life-cycle assessments for various types of animal protein production.
“If you are an environmentalist, what you eat makes a difference. We found there are obvious good choices, and really obvious bad choices,” said Ray Hilborn, a professor at the University of Washington in the US. “Policymakers need to be able to say, ‘There are certain food production types we need to encourage, and others we should discourage’,” he added.