Before you continue on, let me clarify that this is not gonna be a post about weight loss diets - so those looking to obtain a summer/bikini ready body may not find this useful, however whatever reason made you click on this link I encourage you to continue on and, hopefully, get some inspiration.
I want to talk about our diets environmental impacts
If you watched the documentary "Cowspiracy" you are probably already somewhat aware of the environmental impacts of our diet
If you haven't, or are just in need of a refresher, here are some facts:
- With increases in "wealth" , refined sugars, fats, oils and meats are increasingly common in most diets
- This dietary shifts will lead to an estimated 80% increase in greenhouse gases by 2050, just around the corner (Tilman & Clark. 2014)
- Non-vegetarian meals are estimated to have 1.5-2 times environmental impact compared to vegetarian meals (Reijenders & Soret 2003)
- The environmental impact is due to land-use change. With an increase of demands for animal produces more land needs to be created, leading to deforestation efforts.
- Already around 75% of global agricultural land is used for livestock rearing and the production of crops to feed said livestock (Foley et al. 2011). We could use less land to feed humans on the same vegetarian sources of proteins (e.g. legumes, soybeans..)
- Deforestation and land-use changes are a major source of biodiversity loss, perhaps even more than climate change! (Tasser et al. 2017)
Perhaps this all sounds a bit doom and gloom.
But what can you do?
I am not suggesting you all go vegan (I would be an hypocrite) but there are some things to start:
- Limit your meat consumption. Most people in developed countries tend to eat animal products 2-3 times a day! Try and see if you can just limit to once, and if you are already in that category do alternate days, or perhaps become a weekday vegetarian/vegan? Or try go vegan for a month. Basically, just be mindful.
- Know where your produces come from! Try find local produces, you will also help your local economy instead of feeding the big companies, also reducing the carbon footprint due to transport (more to come on this in a future post). Yet, as a reminder, buying local will not entirely fix the problems and a mindful diet is still more important to reduce your footprint (Weber & Matthews, 2008). However I personally find that going to markets itself makes me a more mindful consumer rather than entering a supermarket and filling my basket, so it's in its own way a mindset shift, I encourage you to try.
If you already do something to reduce the environmental impact of your diet, let me know in the comments :)
And any (constructive) discussion welcome as always...
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