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Natural Resource Sciences

Dietary shifts driving up phosphorus use

Rising meat consumption, calorie intake complicate efforts to conserve essential resource
Thu, 2013-01-17 11:28

Dietary changes since the early 1960s have fueled a sharp increase in the amount of mined phosphorus used to produce the food consumed by the average person over the course of a year, according to a new study led by researchers at McGill University. Between 1961 and 2007, rising meat consumption and total calorie intake underpinned a 38% increase in the world’s per capita “phosphorus footprint,” the researchers conclude in a paper published online in Environmental Research Letters.

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