When he started working on a new audio documentary about climate change, producer David Freudberg realized one thing.

“When I started studying this a few years ago, a kind of light bulb went off for me that the foods that climate scientists associate with the greatest emissions of greenhouse gases are generally the same foods that physicians and other public health officials advocate as being the unhealthiest for us,” Freudberg told GBH’s Morning Edition co-host Paris Alston. “And that's when I connected the dots.”

“The Diet-Climate Connection,” a new audio documentary from Humankind, explores how the foods we eat affect the warming planet we inhabit. It's available online and will be airing on GBH 89.7 on Sunday at 8 p.m., just ahead of Earth Day.

It also features several voices in the Boston area.

“I had gone over to Tufts University, which turns out to be noted as an environmentally sensitive school,” Freudberg said. “I was looking for students who were focused on this, who had made dietary changes in their lives because of their concerns about climate change.”

One of them was named Olivia Calkins, an environmental engineering student.

“I've always wanted to help the environment. I've wanted to do that since I was younger, and I kind of thought the only way I could make a tangible impact on the environment was through my job,” Calkins told him. “But in high school, I kind of started to realize that I can do more things than just my career, because the food that we eat is a very big contributor to a lot of these effects of climate change.”

Calkins ended up becoming vegan in response environmental and animal welfare concerns.

Limiting animal products can be helpful in reducing greenhouse gasses, Freudberg said, but it’s also important to look at broader environmental impacts of any foods we consume.

So he asked Professor Walter Willett, who was the longtime chair of the nutrition department at Harvard, what he sees as the source of the problem.

“We could stop climate change from getting worse if we just acted on the things that we know are possible to do,” Willett told Freudberg. “But doing so is, of course, a strongly political issue. … The most important thing is to consume a diet that is producing less greenhouse gas emissions. The number one villain is cattle, both for meat production especially, but also for dairy production.”

That took Freudberg by surprise.

“I said cattle, you know, these gentle animals just grazing? And of course, that's a totally false image,” Freudberg said. “They're not just grazing. They're actually crammed into these factory farms, which are very unpleasant places. It's a very intensive process for an environmental footprint.”

Methane, he said, is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon. He is encouraging people to stay open-minded about our food choices.

“The good news is, you can experience joy in breaking free of a meat-centered diet and enjoying other cuisines, like beans and rice in Mexican food and the wonderfully spiced legumes in Indian food,” he said. “And that just requires us being a little more open-minded, and your palate will be rewarded.”