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Which diet makes best use of farmland? You might be surprised.

(Ensia) Vegetarian? Omnivore? Vegan? What should we eat if we want to feed a growing population while minimizing the need to farm more land? We know that meat-based meals require more farmland than plant-based ones. But which diet is the best fit for the mix of croplands and grazing land that supports agriculture today? That’s a different question with a potentially different answer, since much of the land we use to produce our food is better suited for grazing livestock than growing crops.
A new study … explores this perplexing question of the “foodprint” of different diets. Researchers calculated how much land is needed to feed people under 10 diet scenarios ranging from conventional American to vegan…
The baseline diet — what Americans are eating today — required the most land at 1.08 hectares (2.67 acres, or more than two football fields) per person per year, followed by the reduced-fats-and-sweeteners diet at 1.03 hectares (2.55 acres) per person per year. Land requirements decreased steadily as the proportion of food derived from animals declined, with the three vegetarian diets requiring 0.13 to 0.14 hectares (0.32 to 0.35 acres) per person per year.
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Please do not give advice. We can best help each other by telling what works for us, not what we think someone else should do.