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

A new study shows that half of all Arctic warming and corresponding sea-loss during the late 20th century was caused by ozone-depleting substances. Here, icebergs discharged from Greenland's Jakobshavn Glacier. Kevin Krajick / Earth Institute / EurekAlert!

The world awakened to the hole in the ozone layer in 1985, which scientists attributed it to ozone depleting substances. Two years later, in Montreal, the world agreed to ban the halogen compounds causing the massive hole over Antarctica. Research now shows that those chemicals didn't just cut a hole in the ozone layer, they also warmed up the Arctic.

Read More
Diane Wilson holds up a bag full of nurdles she collected from one of Formosa's outfall areas on Jan. 15. Julie Dermansky / DeSmogBlog

By Julie Dermansky

On the afternoon of Jan. 15, activist Diane Wilson kicked off a San Antonio Estuary Waterkeeper meeting on the side of the road across from a Formosa plastics manufacturing plant in Point Comfort, Texas.

After Wilson and the waterkeeper successfully sued Formosa in 2017, the company agreed to no longer release even one of the tiny plastic pellets known as nurdles into the region's waterways. The group of volunteers had assembled that day to check whether the plant was still discharging these raw materials of plastics manufacturing.

Read More
Sponsored

By Simon Coghlan and Kobi Leins

A remarkable combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and biology has produced the world's first "living robots."

Read More
Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin (front 2nd L) and officials inspect a container containing plastic waste shipment on Jan. 20, 2020 before sending back to the countries of origin. AFP via Getty Images

The Southeast Asian country Malaysia has sent 150 shipping containers packed with plastic waste back to 13 wealthy countries, putting the world on notice that it will not be the world's garbage dump, as CNN reported. The countries receiving their trash back include the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada.

Read More
Trump leaves after delivering a speech at the Congress Centre during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 21, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed the concerns of environmental activists as "pessimism" in a speech to political and business leaders at the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday.

Read More