The study revealed that the increase in meat-heavy diets in China has increased emissions of agricultural ammonia (NH3) from fertilizer and livestock manure, which poses a significant risk to public health.
Traditional Chinese diets have significantly switched towards a more meat-reliant diet, despite the fact that more meat is considered to be unhealthy in comparison to a grain-based diet. The increase in animal agriculture has created a huge spike in toxic air pollution, posing a risk to all Chinese residents.
With the meat industry being at the forefront of air pollution and climate change, it would only take a slight dietary switch in society to greatly reduce air pollution.
Co-author, Professor Gavin Shaddick, states, “We show that changing food consumption patterns can not only lead to improved health through more healthy diets but also has important co-benefits in terms of the environmental impacts of the agricultural sector and those additional effects on human health.”
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