Less meat, less heat -- fewer steaks may save planet

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LONDON, Sep 13 (Reuters) Eating too much red meat is not only bad for your health -- it is also bad for the planet, according to scientists.

Worldwide, agricultural activity accounts for about a fifth of total greenhouse-gas emissions and livestock production has a particularly big impact because of the large amount of methane emitted from belching cattle.

Tony McMichael of the Australian National University in Canberra and John Powles of Britain's University of Cambridge, writing in the Lancet journal, said worldwide average meat consumption could be realistically reduced by 10 per cent.

This would help in the battle against global warming and also reduce health risks associated with excessive consumption of red meat, they said.

Global average meat consumption is currently 100 grams per person a day but there is a tenfold variation between high-consuming and low-consuming populations.

REUTERS KK VC0900

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