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#futureprotein: Legumes/Pulses – 3 good reason to eat them! Environment

February 22, 2016

You still have doubts about legumes? Are you afraid swell or simply considered them a tedious and heavy ingredient? The good reasons for taking them every day at the table are not lacking and are the same on the basis of which the UN has declared 2016 International Year of Pulses.

The first, the one that is closest to my heart is the ENVIRONMENT, or the low environmental impact of legumes compared to other protein-rich foods.
First, consider that each of us should take 1 g of protein per kg of body weight. So if you weigh 60kg you will have to take a day 60g of protein, ideally no more and no less.
For simplicity we consider taking half of the protein we need from just one food, actually proteins are contained not only in legumes but also in vegetables, cereals, algae, oilseeds and naturally in all animal products.
To take 30g of how many of these protein foods we should eat in a day?
In addition to these foods, which I have reported the average value of protein and its environmental impact, there Therefore is also another that stands out and is a good candidate as a protein of the future, it is the spirulina, well 57g per 100g product, for this will be back soon to tell you about algae.

Schermata 2016-02-22 alle 11.02.55

To produce these quantities of the product (that is equivalent to 30g of protein) how many natural resources are consumed? I calculated on the basis of FAO data for:
– Carbon Footprint, calculates g of CO2 equivalents emitted into the atmosphere to produce 1kg of product,
– Water Footprint, calculates the total liters of water needed to produce 1 kg of product,
– Ecological Footprint, calculates m2 of land needed to produce 1kg of product
Carbon Footprint

imprinta carbonio
Water FootPrint

impronta ideirca
Ecological Footprint

impronta ecologica

These three indices give us an idea and overall environmental impact of the consumption of natural resources, ie clean air, clean water and fertile soil used to produce half the amount of protein a person needs to 60kg. It is evident that increasing consumption of legumes and vegetable protein in the diet is very good for the environment, and next week we will also see the benefits to our health.
If you want to be more sustainable so you do not miss the vegetables on your table.

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