The model estimates whether 378 metropolitan areas could meet their food needs from local agricultural areas within a radius of 250 kilometers. The local potential was estimated using seven different diets ranging from a meat-based Western diet to a vegan diet.
Currently, a typical American eats 5 ounces of meat a day, including beef, pork, turkey, and chicken. Reducing these rates by just over 50% will increase the potential for local food production, the researchers said.
"There are several ways to do this," says study author Julie Kurtz, M.S., MPH. "Imagine cutting down to less than 2½ ounces a day by serving smaller servings of meat and replacing some meat-centered entrees with plant-based alternatives like lentils, beans and nuts."
Not only would this improve the ability to localize foods, but plant-rich diets have been researching benefits, such as improving gut health, treating asthma, and lowering blood pressure.