The worry about the Earth dying is increasingly present. Slowly but surely, we become more and more aware of what we have done to our planet, and scientists are beginning to say we only have 20 years left to save it. We are destroying our planet, and only have one generation to do something about it. Will a diet be able to do so?
The latest solution
According to not more and not less than 37 scientists who have participated at the EAT-Lancet commission, this diet could prevent 11 million deaths a year. They have been investigating, for a long time, about what would be the best way to feed ourselves while still being respectful with our planet.
Enough with the red meat
Apparently, the key to this diet is a reduced percentage of meat. One hamburger or steak a month, and just a couple of chicken and fish servings a week. The reason behind such small amounts of meat is that animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all of the world’s transportation systems combined.
The rest of the diet consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. These should fill half a meal.
What the diet consists of:
According to the diet, we are only allowed 31 grams of sugar a day, and 50 grams of oils (a day) like olive oil. This is what we should ingest in a day:
- Legumes: 75 grams
- Nuts: 50 grams
- Eggs: An egg and a half a week (13 grams)
- Fish: 28 grams
- Dairy: 250 grams
- Meat: 14 grams of red meat, and 29 grams of chicken
- Vegetables: 300 grams
- Carbohydrates: 232 grams of bread or wholegrain rice, and 50 grams of starchy vegetables (like potatoes)
- Fruit: 200 grams
Spread the word
The biggest obstacle for this diet-based solution would be the most obvious one: get a vast part of the world to completely change their diets, which seems to be an almost impossible task.
It is very difficult for a person to change their diet, but there is a reason behind this, and we have our primal instincts to thank for. Long story short: we perceive this change as a threat to our safety, because food is a part of survival.
This perceived threat to our safety, in turn, provokes a sense of fear, leading us to running out of “willpower” to follow through on our diets. Thus, if it’s difficult for one person to change their diet, let alone almost the entire world.
The biggest challenge
What the challenge of this diet seems to be, is taking meat (especially red meat) almost completely out of our lives. Both North-America and Europe would have to let go of all the red meat they consume.
The solution to red meat consumption could be rising taxes to make it more expensive, preventing people from being able to afford such foods. However, this might just not have positive consequences.
In addition, South-East Asia would have to go on without fish, and Africa without starchy vegetables. This is not exactly an easy task to fulfill.
How the diet will help our planet
This “heroic” diet would be able to prevent 11 million deaths a year because both cardiac arrest and some types of cancer would be reduced. On the other hand, greenhouse gases would also decrease, because, as we have already stated before, a big portion comes from food production.
Food production is not the only threat for climate change
According to Frank M. Mitloehner, professor at the California University, meat production seems to be just as responsible for climate change as transport. This means, that even though fruits and vegetables contribute to a reduced emission on greenhouse gases, the fact that we still have to carry them from one place to another highly contributes to climate change.
So which is worse: excessively consuming meat or transport?
At the end, both are equally harmful.
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