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With New Year's resolutions not quite yet left by the wayside, plenty of people up and down the country have decided to go vegan. Whether it's to protect animal rights, better serve the environment or simply lose a little weight, the vegan diet has become something of growing trend in recent years.

Alas, present and future vegans, it turns out you might not be saving the world as much as you think you are.

A study has found that when it comes to sustainable food production, veganism isn't the best diet for humanity to adopt.

Using simulation models, US researchers worked out how many people could be fed with available farmland in the country using ten different national diets.

The diets included one vegan, two vegetarian diets (one with eggs, one without), five omnivorous diets with varying amounts of meat and vegetables, a reduced fat, and sugar diet, and the current diet of the US.

Veganism fell behind the two vegetarian diets, as well as two omnivorous diets, in the number of people that could be fed with available land.

This is because the vegan diet wastes available land which is often unsuitable for growing crops but can be used for grazing cattle or other animals.

Worryingly, that diet you see at the bottom of the chart is the one that Americans are currently on.

The study, published in the online journal Elementa, also found that meat-heavy diets used all available land, but would prioritise meat production to the point that fewer people would be fed, because vegetables and fruit were more efficient for land use.

It should be pointed out that this is only one study.

However, it does give you sparse ammunition every time someone tells you to go vegan to save the planet.

HT qz

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