In honor of the People's Climate March on April 29th in Washington, DC, and sister cities around the world, here's some food for thought about how our plate effects the planet.
As you probably know, 2016 was the hottest year on record for the third year in a row, caused primarily by the excess heat trapped in the earth’s atmosphere by increasing levels of greenhouse gases.
One monumental yet simple thing each of us can do right now to help combat global warming is to eat more plants and fewer animals.
The United Nations reported in 2015 that “a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty, and the worst impacts of climate change.”
The report stated that agriculture, particularly meat and dairy products, accounts for 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use and 19% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, cheese has been ranked third (behind lamb and beef) for worst environmental emissions because of the amount of resources used to produce it.
And if you eat fish, you're not off the hook because fish production also has one of the strongest environmental impacts.
On the other hand, fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts have the least impact on the environment and, of course, they're the healthiest foods to eat. As the NutritionFacts.org video above shows, eating a vegan diet can combat dietary diseases and result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that following a vegan diet would not only save more than 8 million lives per year globally, but would also cut food-related greenhous gas emissions by 70 percent by the year 2050.
And the Environmental Working Group--the same folks who brought you the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen of pesticides in produce--has a free chart you can download called The Meat-Eaters Guide to Climate Change and Health.
It shows you just how much climate-saving impact you and your family can have when you eat less meat and dairy.
Bottom line: what we eat has a direct impact on our climate. And if we don't act on that knowledge, are we any different than climate change deniers?
If you're not already vegan, you can start today by eating more plant-based foods. Remember, there's no Planet B!
Have an awesome rest of the week!