If all of America went vegan, we might be able to feed 390 million more people.
If all Americans adopted a meatless lifestyle, basically all U.S. farmers would have to stop raising animals and grow plants instead. According to a report published in the National Academy of Sciences, this would feed the entire U.S. population, and about 390 million more people. This is because it takes a lot less land to grow plant proteins and we use way more land to raise cows, chickens and pigs.
For example, the report said, if a plot of land could grow 100 grams of edible plant protein, the land would only be able to produce 4 grams of edible beef protein. Eggs on the same plot would only yield 60 grams of edible protein and dairy cows would only produce 25 grams of protein.
Researchers looked at America’s eating habits and agricultural production from 2000 to 2010. The used computers to figure out how to remove animal products from the American diet, all while keeping plant-based food nutritionally comparable. So, the plant food has to have similar amounts of calories, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals without increasing fat of cholesterol.
Despite its potential, their might be a downside to an all-vegan America. It might end up hurting the economy, because animal products make a lot of money. There would also be a drop in vitamin B12 consumption. But studies show a vegan diet could be healthier and we’d emit fewer greenhouse gases.