Healthy Eating Habits
Improving food habits can have a huge impact on our collective health and the health of the planet
The food you eat have big effects on your health and quality of life and a good diet can improve not only the brain function but also your physical performance.
Eating meat is an important part of heritage and identity. It’s a cultural staple in many communities and countries across the globe. But with a rising global middle class, societies are becoming meat obsessed. Nowhere else is this more prevalent than rich nations whose appetite for beef, pork and processed chicken have reached a tipping point. The research is clear — a diet heavy in meat increases the risk of obesity, cancer and heart disease but it also makes our planet sick.
The livestock agricultural sector — raising cows, pigs and chickens — generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined. Cattle ranchers have clear cut millions of square km of forests for grazing pastures, decimating natural “carbon sinks.”
We’re not advocating that everyone should adopt a “meatless” diet tomorrow. But we all must develop “meat consciousness” and reduce the level of meat in our diets. Shifting to more plant-based foods is essential to combatting climate change, soil, air and water pollution, ocean dead zones, and a myriad of other problems caused by industrial livestock production. If we decide to eat fewer meals with meat or dairy each week, we can have a huge impact on our collective health and the health of the planet.
A plant based diet for example is one that focuses on only or mostly on foods from plant sources. This way of eating may have benefits for both a person’s health and the planet.
What You Can Do:
- Commit to reducing your meat and dairy consumption by a few meals per week and tell five friends about your choice to find alternative proteins.
- Make fresh fruits and vegetables a bigger part of your diet.
- Buy sustainable or organic fresh produce whenever possible.
- Unpacking the different diet types that minimize meat
The difference between several diet plans:
Vegan: Vegans avoid animal products completely, not eating meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and even honey. Many also extend their habits to other areas of their life, like not buying or wearing products made of leather or fur.
Vegetarian: Vegetarians don’t eat meat, but they may eat dairy, eggs, and other products where an animal was involved in the process but not killed.
Pescatarian: People who don’t eat meat but eat fish are pescatarians. Most pescatarians eat dairy and eggs, but some don’t.
Flexitarian: This is a person who has a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally eats fish or meat.
Plant-based: Someone following a plant-based diet may eat meat, but doesn’t make it the main focus of their diet or meals. (It’s pretty similar to flexitarianism.)