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Greener Living

Can Climate Labels on Menus Turn People Off Cheeseburgers?

Researchers found that fast-food menus with climate-impact labels can shift people towards choices with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Applebee's Tries 'Girls' Night Out' To Win Five Guys Burger Fans

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg 

Climate labels on fast-food menus can help steer people in the US away from ordering beef — the food with the worst impact on the climate —  and towards meals that are better for the planet, according to new research.

Food systems contribute roughly a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and much of it coming from raising cows and other livestock. As people look for climate solutions to rapidly cut down their greenhouse gas emissions, “one of the biggest changes we can make is reducing the red meat we consume,” says Julia Wolfson, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and one of the researchers behind the new study. (The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is supported by Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies.)