Can healthy eating choices have the potential to save the planet?
Yes, according to the authors of the Planetary Health Diet which was recently published in The Lancet.
The diet was devised by an international group of scientists who want to find a healthy and ecologically sustainable way to feed the world in 2050 when the global population is projected to be 10 billion.
The authors describe the plan as ‘a flexitarian diet, which is largely plant-based but can optionally include modest amounts of fish, meat and dairy foods’.
The report states that one half of your dinner plate should contain fruit and veg, while the other half should be mostly whole grains, unsaturated plant oils and sources of plant protein. There is an allowance for dairy and animal protein, but it amounts to less than 15% of your daily calories.
No foodstuffs are banned but it seems that we should almost entirely eliminate refined sugar, eat a great deal less red meat and dairy, consume more fruit and vegetables and eat far more nuts, seeds and pulses.
These recommendations chime well with the trending awareness of ‘responsible eating’.
You’ve probably seen the new wave of eco-aware products that are sweeping the supermarket shelves: branded vegan products, Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance partnerships, reduction of plastic waste, availability of ‘wonky’ fruit and veg that the big supermarket chains have previously disdained … there’s a seismic change sweeping the food industry which we will all benefit from.
Eat well, live well … it makes perfect sense, and it starts with you, the consumer, making healthy and informed eating choices.
You’ll be hearing a lot more about the Planetary Health Diet as the EAT-Lancet Commission who published the report intend it to become the blueprint for global eating habits over the next three decades.
Move over 5-a-day: it’s time for a new approach to eating that will reverse climate change, ensure ecosystem stability and end world hunger.
Ambitious? Yes. Impossible? No. Watch this space.
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