A global climate crisis is approaching, that is why big lifestyle changes are required of those of us who live in this world.It’s easy to get caught up in the panic and feel we can’t make a difference. But we can change our diet and agricultural systems to heal the earth as we heal ourselves. We should not dismiss the power of our voices and the choices we make. Many of u may ask the question: but is it individualized? We are not the main polluters others are! The good news are that our way of life and our daily foods consumptions and habits can affect how the planet is changing and yes each one of us can work on saving our planet!

Number ONE step you can take right away is to eat less meat and move toward a plant-based diet. In fact, besides its enormous carbon footprint, the meat industry employs other outmoded, unsustainable practices, including the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, monocultures and GMOs.

Even one person, such as you guys reading now my article, can make a big difference. Here are some of the contributions you’ll make to the health of the planet (as well as your own):

*Compared with beans, beef requires 20 times more land and creates 20 times more greenhouse gases to produce the same amount of protein.

*If you eat 100 grams of meat every day, about one serving for most meat eaters, your diet puts out about 7.2 kg of carbon dioxide emissions (from farm to table). If you are vegetarian, your daily carbon emissions drop dramatically.

*Replacing meat consumption with plants frees up valuable agricultural land to grow foods eaten by humans instead of livestock. It reduces hunger and helps feed the earth’s growing population with healthy, sustainable food.

If you do eat meat, what kind of meat you eat makes a big difference. Beef creates more than double the emissions of pork, and close to four times the emissions of chicken. Lamb is even worse than beef. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts create less than one-third the emissions of chicken (and a twelfth of beef).

So as a first step, drop beef and lamb from your diet and limit your daily consumption of meat to less than four ounces. This starts you on the way to a healthier diet for you and for the earth.

Other steps can also help protect the planet, here are some you can follow:

  • Buy local, seasonally available ingredients as standard, to minimize energy used in food production, transport and storage.
  • Avoid bottled water and instead drink plain or filtered tap water, to minimize transport and packaging waste.
  • Eat sardines:These little fish are both sustainable and full of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
  • Reduce food waste:prepare the needed quantity of foods and always use your left-overs or even donate them!!

 

 

By, Nicole Eid Mallah. [Clinical Dietitian]

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