Humans Are Becoming More Carnivorous


I read a very interesting article yesterday that mentions humans are becoming more carnivorous as a species.

While more and more humans in the western world are turning to vegan or vegetarianism, this phenomena is reversed in Asia. More and more people in India and China are turning to a more omnivorous diet.

Moving Up

The study also looked at how eating patterns have changed over time. The researchers calculated the human trophic level for 176 countries for each year from 1961 to 2009 using a data on 102 types of food — from animal fat to yams — compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.


Over 50 years, an increase in fat and meat consumption has moved us further up the food web, with the global median human trophic level increasing 3% — or about 0.06 — during the period.

It seems like a small difference, but when you think about how it’s calculated, it’s big. A change by 0.1 means you are eating considerably more meat or animal-based foods.

Regional differences

But changes were not uniform across the globe. Countries such as China and India have shown marked increases in their trophic level. However, places such as Iceland, Mongolia and Mauritania, where traditional diets are mostly based on meat, fish or dairy, have seen their trophic levels decline as they diversified their daily fare.

I believe this is a good sign for India. With increased awareness, we can finally lift large swathes of our population from malnutrition, and improve their quality of life.

One comment

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