To Veg or Not to Veg?

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As vegetarianism, veganism and everything in between have ballooned in popularity over the past decade, so has the debate over whether it’s actually, you know, benefiting anyone. The general line of thinking has been a resounding yes—if, for no other reason, than to offset the negative effects of the earth’s carnivores. Human beings eat twice as much meat as we did 30 years ago, and with that meat comes the nasty side-effects: More animals producing methane and other greenhouse gases, as well as physical waste we’ve got to find something to do with. In 2006, the UN calculated that animals bred specifically for their meat helped create an average of 18 percent of the global total of climate change emissions. There’s also the theory that veganism could help eradicate world hunger. According to a researcher at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, if we eliminated grain-fed animals from our livestock, we would be able to produce crops to feed another 4 billion people throughout the world.

But there’s a catch: Humans may actually need meat. An Austrian study concluded this year found that the vegetarian diet, “characterized by a low consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits and whole-grain products” actually brings with it elevated risks of allergies, mental health disorders and cancer. The study, ironically reported on April 1, found vegetarians had a lower quality of life than the rest of us and “require more medical treatment.”

So, what’s the deal? That’s what Chemicals Are Your Friends founder Dr. Dorea Reeser, Ph.D; biochemistry professor Farzaneh Daghigh, Ph.D.; UPenn postdoctoral research fellow Jared Piazza and Whole Foods’ Katy Greenplan plan to explore at To Veg or Not to Veg? The Science Behind Vegetarianism. They’ll be speaking on whether vegetarianism is actually good for the world or just our piece of mind. And free food samples will be served. // RANDY LOBASSO

6pm. $5. The Pavilion at Franklin Square Park, Race Street between Sixth and Seventh sts. philasciencefestival.org
 

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EVENT DETAILS

WHEN
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Recurring: ONCE

TIME & PRICE
6pm Price: Unknown

WHERE
Race Street between 6th and 7th, Philadelphia, PA
One time only on 04/30/2014. .

FOR MORE INFO
Franklin Square Park Pavillion

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