A plant-based diet produces about half as many emissions as meant, so opting for that veggie burger can actually help against climate change.
One of the most powerful aspects of a healthy, plant-based diet is often one of the more forgotten ones. Along with having a positive influence on personal wellbeing, it also boosts global and environmental health, which is growing in importance as the world’s population continues to boom. The Environmental Working Group estimates that we’ll need 50% more food to feed the population, however food production can be a huge drain on the environment. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), it can contribute to about 15% of greenhouse gases, falling into a category composed of oil, coal, and car emissions.
Luckily, not all food production has such negative consequences. Plant-based foods produce about half as many emissions as meat, meaning opting for a veggie burger or our Nirvana Carbonara can help against global climate change.
Here are some of the top ways a vegan, whole-foods diet helps protect our planet while improving your physical, mental, and emotional well-being:
It combats world hunger
Didn’t think vegetables could be that powerful? By switching to a plant-based diet, you’re freeing up the grains grown to feed livestock, and the space needed to raise them. Some studies suggest that over 700 million tons of food go to livestock every year, 700 million tons of which could go to feeding hungry and starving populations.
Not only that, but deforestation, overfishing, and pollution — intrinsic complications of a meat-based diet — limit space to grow food. If the global population is expected to surpass 9.1 billion people by 2050, ensuring we’re able to grow enough food for everyone is critical.
It reduces energy consumption
Livestock doesn’t just require a significant amount of room to grow, but a significant amount of energy is required to bring them from pasture to kitchen table. In contrast, by choosing plant-based proteins, you’re slashing the energy costs by eight.
It keeps the land and water healthy
Let’s put a burger into perspective: producing a kilo of beef requires 100 to 200 times more water than producing a pound of plant-based protein. Opting not to buy a kilo of beef can save up to 15,000 litres of water, a significant amount when remembering that hundreds of millions of people worldwide don’t have access to clean water.
Non-organic meat facilities also spew artificial pesticides, fertiliser, hormones, and antibiotics, all of which make their way into the groundwater, damaging to the topsoil, agricultural communities, and your body. Plants, on the other hand, can nourish the soil and help combat climate change.
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