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Idli, Rajma Among Top 25 Foods Causing Maximum Damage To Biodiversity, Reveals Study

According to a recent study analyzing 151 popular dishes worldwide, Indian favorites like Idli, Chana Masala, Rajma, and Chicken Jalfrezi have made it to the top 25 dishes causing significant damage to biodiversity. Prior to the release of this study, concerns were raised that biodiversity loss was primarily attributable to habitat destruction resulting from increased agricultural activity.

Edited By : simran rajpal | Feb 23, 2024 16:20 IST
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Idli and sambhar

According to a recent study analyzing 151 popular dishes worldwide, Indian favorites like Idli, Chana Masala, Rajma, and Chicken Jalfrezi have made it to the top 25 dishes causing significant damage to biodiversity. The dish with the highest biodiversity footprint is Spain’s Lechazo, a roast lamb recipe. Following Lechazo, non-vegetarian dishes from Brazil.

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Surprisingly, despite the general belief that vegan and vegetarian dishes have lower biodiversity footprints, Idli and Rajma rank sixth and seventh respectively. This contradicts the notion that rice and beans-based dishes would have lower impacts. Conversely, French fries have the lowest biodiversity footprint according to the study. Indian dishes like Aloo Paratha rank at 96th place, Dosa at 103rd, and Bonda at 109th. This clearly means that Idli may have a higher impact on nature compared to Aloo Paratha, as per the research. The study underscores the immense pressure on biodiversity in India.

What Does The Study Say About Indian Food Items? 

Luis Roman Carrasco, an associate professor of biological sciences at the National University of Singapore who spearheaded the research, expressed surprise at the significant impact of rice and beans in India. However, as one dives deeper into the matter, the initial surprise dissipates. According to scientists, food choices are typically influenced by factors such as taste, price, and health. Studies that assign biodiversity impact scores to dishes can aid individuals in making more environmentally friendly food choices.

What Does Biodiversity Footprint Reveal? 

Prior to the release of this study, concerns were raised that biodiversity loss was primarily attributable to habitat destruction resulting from increased agricultural activity. Previous research has suggested that food consumption by an average household contributes to 20 to 30 percent of its environmental footprint. Carrasco explains that the biodiversity footprint offers insight into how many species are pushed toward extinction by consuming a particular dish.

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First published on: Feb 23, 2024 04:20 PM IST

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