Quantcast

Mounting Evidence Shows Eating Less Meat = Healthy People, Healthy Planet

Food

A new systematic review of dietary patterns and sustainability published in the latest edition of Advances in Nutrition provides additional evidence that diets lower in animal-based foods and higher in plant-based foods are better for the health of people and the planet. The review highlights the urgency of addressing sustainability in national food policy as a matter of food security: "Long-term food security can be ensured only if we consider the sustainability of our food supply now."

Diets lower in animal-based foods and higher in plant-based foods are better for the health of people and the planet.

The review was conducted by Miriam Nelson, a leading expert on nutrition and sustainability and director of the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire, along with other members of, and consultants to, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. It identifies eight more studies that support the health and environmental benefits of sustainable diets, on top of the 15 studies included in the committee's original systematic review, strengthening the conclusions of the committee report even further.

"The evidence overwhelmingly points to one clear solution: We need to eat less meat and dairy," said Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "This growing body of research shows that we can't afford to wait for national food policies that help educate Americans on sustainable diets and ensure that healthy, nutritious food is widely available and affordable."

Sustainability concerns and the recommendation to eat less meat and more plant-based foods were not included in the final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, following intense pressure from the livestock industry. This omission came despite the strong evidence presented by the guidelines committee, along with widespread support from environmental, public-health and animal-protection organizations and experts, as well as an unprecedented 29,000 public comments.

"The collective health of our environment, the American people and our food system is at stake," said Feldstein. "It's time for our elected officials to stop letting special interests dictate policies that determine how informed Americans make food choices. We need our leaders to create policies in the interest of a healthy, sustainable and secure food system."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Students hold a Youth Strike for Climate Change Protest in London, UK on May 24. Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

The New York City public schools will allow their 1.1 million students to skip school for Friday's global climate strike, The New York Times reported Monday.

Read More Show Less
The 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg speaks during her protest action for more climate protection with a reporter. Steffen Trumpf / picture alliance / Getty Images

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

It's been 30 years since Bill McKibben rang the warning bells about the threat of man-made climate change — first in a piece in The New Yorker, and then in his book, The End of Nature.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
At the International Motor Show (IAA), climate protestors are calling for a change in transportation politics. © Kevin McElvaney / Greenpeace

Thousands of protestors marched in front of Frankfurt's International Motor Show (IAA) on Saturday to show their disgust with the auto industry's role in the climate crisis. The protestors demanded an end to combustion engines and a shift to more environmentally friendly emissions-free vehicles, as Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less
Setting and testing the line protections for Siemens SF6 gas insulated switchgear in 2007. Xaf / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Electricity from renewable sources is growing exponentially as the technology allows for cheaper and more efficient energy generation, but there is a dark side that has the industry polluting the most powerful greenhouse gas known to humanity, as the BBC reported.

Read More Show Less
Ella Olsson / Pexels

By Elizabeth Streit, MS, RDN, LD

Sweet and regular potatoes are both tuberous root vegetables, but they differ in appearance and taste.

They come from separate plant families, offer different nutrients, and affect your blood sugar differently.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Scientists in Saskatchewan found that consuming small amounts of neonicotinoids led white-crowned sparrows to lose significant amounts of weight and delay migration, threatening their ability to reproduce. Jen Goellnitz / Flickr

By Julia Conley

In addition to devastating effects on bee populations and the pollination needed to feed humans and other species, widely-used pesticides chemically related to nicotine may be deadly to birds and linked to some species' declines, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is set to unveil a package of measures on Friday, Sept. 20, to ensure that the country cuts its greenhouse gas emissions 55% by 2030, compared with the 1990 levels.

Read More Show Less
Assorted plastic bottles. mali maeder / Pexels

California ended its 2019 legislative session Saturday without passing two bills that would have led the nation in tackling plastic pollution, The Mercury News reported.

Read More Show Less