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UN Report: A Plant-Based Diet is Best Way to Help the Environment

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The first and most urgent, the report asserts, is the need to change dietary patterns to reduce food demand and encourage more plant-based diets.

ANNA KEEVE: Adopting a plant-based diet is the best thing you can do for the environment, according to a new report that was just released from a UN-backed think tank. The report, from policy institute Chatham House, outlines three “levers” for easing pressure on land use and creating more sustainable food systems. The first and most urgent, the report asserts, is the need to “change dietary patterns to reduce food demand and encourage more plant-based diets.”

One of the key factors driving the recommendation to shift to more plant-based diets, for people of all nations, is the enormous carbon footprint of animal agriculture, and by contrast, the lighter impact that plant-based crops produce… Land use, emissions, water use, and biodiversity all were considered and it is undebatable that raising animals for food is a major contributor to global environmental degradation. In fact, the global food system is responsible for more greenhouse emissions than any other industry, the report found…

Even though more people than ever are adopting a plant-based diet and choosing meat-alternatives and non-dairy milk and cheese, the demand for animal products is still growing as the global population grows. To meet that demand, factory farming, also referred to as “intensive” farming, has expanded… factory farming is an unsustainable system that if not changed, will be catastrophic to the environment…

Beyond the environment, the UN-backed report also highlights the other public good that would result from reducing our reliance on animal-based foods, including improved dietary quality and reduced incidence of diet-related disease associated with overconsumption of red and processed meat such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Pandemic risk could also be “significantly lowered by reducing animal farming,” the report says. SOURCE…

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