I don’t want to panic, and you don’t want to panic, but Please:
can we eat more veggies, beans, nuts, and whole grains to help save the planet and our grandkids?
In the past 60 years (yikes my whole lifetime), we’ve been polluting the planet like maniacs, disrupting the climate system, destroying forests, polluting soil, water and air.
We are depleting the oceans of fish , killing our bees, pollinators, and thousands of assorted species.
We are filling our air with carbon dioxide emissions.
The large animals we eat contribute to that carbon dioxide level, plus they consume half of our grain and tons of our fresh water.
Our food choices and food production damage the earth and our health.
The situation could get extreme by 2050 when our earth population will be 10 billion human mouths to feed.
The EAT-Lancet Commission on food, planet and health came together to analyze all this.
Some of the main points?
→ Beef and lamb produce 6 times more greenhouse gases than smaller-animal meats.
→ For years we have known that eating red meat gives us more heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
→ Modern fertilizers pollute the land and sea with too much nitrogen and phosphorus.
→ In the USA humans eat only 10% of the grain we grow. About 45% of it feeds livestock (cows, pigs, sheep, chickens); 30% makes ethanol fuel for cars; and 15% produces high fructose corn syrup.
(Like anybody in their right mind wants to ingest high fructose corn syrup??)
→ Meanwhile about half of our calorie intake is still unhealthy carbohydrates, refined starches, and sugars. (We gotta eat our whole grains instead of all that cr*p.)
We must eat wisely now in order to feed everybody in 2050, feed our grandkids (30 short years from now).
In 2013 the Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard School of Public Health created “Menus of Change” (see pic below), stressing plant-based food for restaurants and everybody. The “Plant-Forward Global 50” top chefs support this approach internationally.
This year (2019) the EAT-Lancet Commission put together the new “planetary health diet” to help earth and humans thrive together.
What is this new diet?
They call it a Flexitarian diet, meaning that you still eat everything but much less meat.
This menu is heavy in plants, vegetables, fruit, legumes like beans and nuts, plus whole grains.
→ Breakfast might be fruit, nuts, quinoa, oatmeal, or whole-grain seeded bread.
→ Lunch might be a big salad, veggies, and bean stew. With cornbread or a chewy whole grain item. (Maybe one serving of meat now instead of later.)
→ Supper could be a vegetarian feast and/or could include your animal meat for the day.
Each day brings the optional one serving of dairy and
one 3-ounce cooked serving of small-animal protein (poultry, fish, seafood or an egg).
Once a week you can choose red meat as your animal protein (3 oz). Or have a larger hunk of red meat once a month, for instance.
Now don’t go crying “Soylent Green!” on me. (1973 sci-fi movie, set in 2022 – yikes. )
Nobody will force you to do this. (And nobody’s going to recycle human flesh, right??)
Flexitarian may sound extreme compared to what we eat these days.
Or maybe it’s close to what you already eat? (Show of hands? Reply below.)
Did you know, the more veggies you eat, the more you enjoy them? (Raise hands if you agree!)
It’s definitely worth a shot to start now, if you haven’t already, to eat more plants.
It’s healthy for you, better for the planet, good for the climate.
Think of your grandkids. And their grandkids.
BTW be sure to eat your pumpkin seeds so you will get your zinc (which is also found in red meat).
You might like to check out some of the meatless “meat” products available these days (made of beans, tofu, etc – “grillers,” “beefless strips” and such).
And yes, okay, this post contradicts some of my past notes. I’m still not a big fan of dairy. But I wanted to share this proclamation from the EAT-Lancet Commission. After all, a lotta smart people put their brains together for us – let’s hear them.
Opinions??? Please share below.
Please share this post, too. (Let’s avoid soylent green in 2022.)
Diane Stallings RN does Biofield Tuning, energy healing, health coaching, and gives you practical ways to lift your wellbeing. Make a appointment in Phoenix or Fountain Hills. Inquire about our healing class, Tuesday evenings in Phoenix, and free meditation classes in Fountain Hills.
(Thanks to rutgers.edu for this image, and also to Harvard and Culinary Institute of America.)