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Articles by Christy Harrison

Christy Harrison is a writer and editor covering food, nutrition, and health. She is completing a Master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition at New York University and pursuing her Registered Dietitian license (R.D.). She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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A field of soybeans -- most of which are grown for animal feed. (Photo: Carol Vanhook)

This post is part of Protein Angst, a series on the environmental and nutritional complexities of high-protein foods. Our goal is to publish a range of perspectives on these very heated topics. Add your feedback and story suggestions here.

A field of soybeans -- most of which are grown for animal feed. (Photo by Carol Vanhook.)

Now that we’ve touched on how much protein we need, let’s talk about how the production process behind high protein foods impacts the environment.

First, the big picture: While meat consumption has gone down slightly here in the U.S. in recent years, the rest of the world appears to be on the opposite track. Nearly half the protein eaten in the developed world comes from animals (compared to 28 percent of protein, worldwide) and, as incomes in larger developing nations like Brazil, India and China have picked up, so has the taste for meat.

World meat consumption more than doubled between 1950 and 2009 (bringing annual intake per person to over 90 pounds or around a quarter pound a day), and the uptick in consumption of eggs and milk has been similarly staggering. If we conti... Read more

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  • Protein: How much do we need?

    Most of us tend to concern ourselves with whether we're getting enough protein. What about getting too much in a way that might waste the earth's natural resources? We start out our protein series with a look at how much of this nutrient is necessary.

  • Seriously, now — why aren’t organics getting affordable?

    So you like whole-grain bread, pesticide-free plums, and low-fat meat? Better ask for a raise. A recent study by researchers at the University of California-Davis reported that U.S. shoppers who consistently choose healthy foods spend nearly 20 percent more on groceries. The study also said the higher price of these healthier choices can consume 35 […]