A gift certificate for a plant based cooking class makes a great father's day gift!

Diet for a Better [now and] Future

15 May 2023

Shifting from unhealthy diets to the planetary health diet can prevent 11 million premature adult deaths per year and drive the transition toward a sustainable global food system by 2050 that ensures healthy food for all,​ ​within planetary boundaries.

-EAT-Lancet Commission

A couple of years ago, an international commission of scientists delved into the topic of food choice and climate change (their report, Food in the Anthropocene:  the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets for sustainable food systems, was the tipping point in my decision to specialize in this area).  They found that while changes in food production practices could reduce future (2050) agricultural greenhouse-gas emissions by about 10%, and halving food waste could save another 5%, increasing adoption of plant-based diets could reduce emissions by up to 80%.

We’ve known for decades that a plant-rich diet can reduce incidence of our most deadly chronic diseases (heart disease, diabetes and cancer) by close to 80%, so it seemed serendipitous.  Yet food continues to be left out of the sustainability discussion.

More recently, EAT produced a new report, Diets for a Better Future, to encourage the G20 countries (which include the USA, and have an outsized impact on climate change) to update their dietary guidelines and encourage public adoption of the Planetary Health Diet. You don’t have to wait for the USDA to catch up, though. You can start right now with a way of eating that’s a win-win…for our personal health, for the planet and for all of humanity.  Here’s the visual form and my summary:

  • Plant predominant, plant forward.  You know how I feel about labels, but the goal is to make most of your plate fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains.
  • Diversify. Eat a variety to ensure intake of all the nutrients you need while also supporting biodiversity in the food system.
  • Embrace plant proteins. Aim to consume at least ½ cup cooked beans daily and reduce consumption of animal-based protein foods.

The original EAT-Lancet report acknowledged that​ transforming the global food system requires buy-in from many stakeholders, including consumers, policy-makers, farmers and grocers.​​ It's up to all of us to create ​an environment of ​healthy and sustainable diets for all.

The Planetary Health Diet may not be entirely your responsibility, but ​consider it your right. It’s opportune that sustainable choices keep us healthy - from our food and water to our air and soil. If you’re thinking those choices are difficult or unappealing, you haven’t spent ​enough time in the kitchen with me!

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