• Glenn Wilson

    The EAT-Lancet Commission lays out the best diet for human and planetary health.

    “Scientists have a [clear] moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to ‘tell it like it is.’” In November 2019, more than 11,000 scientists from 150 countries clearly and unequivocally declared “that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.” CO2 levels are rising; the glaciers are melting; Antarctica is melting. The oceans are getting hotter, more acidic. Sea levels are rising, and so are extreme weather events. And yes, fossil fuel use is going up, like air travel––but so is per capita meat consumption. In fact, one of the solutions they offer to help the climate crisis is “eating mostly plant-based foods while reducing the global consumption of animal products.”

    And what makes designing a sustainable diet so easy is that the same advice—like eat less meat—is good for both personal health––like reducing the risk of our number #1 killer––as well as for planetary health. The least healthy foods also cause the worst environmental impact. The foods with the most nutrition just so happen to be the foods that cause the lowest greenhouse gas emissions; so, you get this win-win effect.

    So, let’s put it all together. If we are “to redesign the global food system for human and planetary health”—which is to say human health and future human health—what would it look like? Enter the EAT-Lancet Commission, “the result of more than two years of collaboration between 37 experts from 16 countries,” suggesting a cut in total meat consumption down to like an ounce a day—that’s like the weight of a single chicken nugget—all the while dramatically increasing our intakes of legumes (which are beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils), nuts, fruits, and vegetables––because we’re not just in a climate crisis, but a health crisis. Unhealthy diets cause more death and disease than smoking, more than unsafe sex, and alcohol, drug, and tobacco use combined. But we can address both crises at the same time by “increasing [our] consumption of [whole plant] foods and substantially reducing our consumption of animal source foods.”

    Eating such a diet could save the lives of more than 10 million people a year* and may just help save the world. The Paris Agreement had set out a boundary condition, an aspirational goal for a carbon budget to help prevent catastrophic impacts, and “staying within the boundary for climate change can be achieved by consuming plant-based diets.” ...

    Continue at NutritionFacts: Win-Win Dietary Solutions to the Climate Crisis. More #NutritionFacts.
    * GW: Currently Coronavirus has claimed under 1.4 million lives (source Johns Hopkins), and, "Eating (a plant-based) diet could save the lives of more than 10 million people a year." Maybe the idea of changing the world's diet for better health and better climate needs more attention?
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