41% Of Children Believe Bacon Comes From Plants, New Study Reveals

Yep, you read that correctly. More than 40% of kids ages 4 to 7 participated in a study and were found to believe that bacon comes from a plant. The study, which was shared on ScienceDirect, also found that a similar number of children thought that hamburgers and hot dogs were plant-based. The findings suggest that people are divorced from the actual production of their food, which is often sold in branded plastic packaging. Researchers also found that many children classified french fries and popcorn as animal-based. However, the point of the results is not that there is a systemic failure in the education system.

Rather, the importance of the study is that it shows "an opportunity to address climate change," as most children said they do not think it's OK to eat cows, chickens, or pigs. The authors suggest that by teaching children about the connection between animals and meat, more young people may embrace an "environmentally responsible" plant-based diet.

More children might want to be vegetarians if they understood where meat comes from

The study suggests that teaching children more about animal-based food systems may be an opportunity to combat the negative effects of climate change, per ScienceDirect. In 2015, Business Insider shared statistics about the carbon emissions caused by different foods. The clear trend was that animal products were vastly more carbon-producing, with pork being the fourth-highest polluter after lamb, beef, and cheese.

The study acknowledges that today's children are going to grow up in a world with a much warmer climate and therefore "should be viewed as agents of environmental change." Since the study's results show that many children do not support eating animals, they may decide to eat less meat in the future — as long as they are taught earlier on about where meat comes from. That way, they will be able to make better-informed decisions about what to eat and how to help the planet.