Meat Consumption Does Not Explain Differences in Household Food Carbon Footprints in Japan

Keiichiro Kanemoto*, Daniel Moran, Yosuke Shigetomi, Christian Reynolds, Yasushi Kondo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Many studies, including the EAT-Lancet Commission report, have argued that changing diets—in particular, shifting away from beef in favor of white meat and vegetables—can substantially reduce household carbon footprints (CFs). This argument implies that households with high CFs consume more meat than low-CF households. An observation of diet and CF across 60,000 households in Japan, a nation whose diet and demographics are in many ways globally indicative, does not support this. Meat consumption only weakly explains the difference between high- and low-CF households and is not localized to any particularly easily targeted group. We find that while nearly all households can reduce their CF by eating less meat, higher-CF households are not distinguished by excessive meat consumption relative to other households but rather have higher household CF intensity because of elevated consumption in other areas including restaurants, confectionery, and alcohol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-471
Number of pages8
JournalOne Earth
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 20


  • carbon footprint
  • diet
  • food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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