How to eat a healthy planetary diet?
Sometime last year, I’ve conjured the idea of an environmentally friendly diet. It would be one that lowers the Carbon Footprint and would be healthy and nutritious. It seems like a very straight forward idea to have a sustainable diet – it is not necessarily strictly vegetarian or vegan, maybe closer to the pescetarian diet. Luckily there are more people thinking of this simple yet powerful concept. One very important driving force is Eat Forum, based in London. The organization has for the first time in history, in collaboration with the renowned medical journal the Lancet, released a full scientific review of what makes a healthy diet from a sustainable food system. The paper points out a clear goal, targets and strategies that can support and speed up food system transformation.
“Food will be a defining issue of the 21st century. Unlocking its potential will catalyze the achievement of both the Sustainability Development Goals and Paris Agreement.”
So, what is the Planetary Diet?
The diet is quite flexible and allows for adaptation to dietary needs, personal preferences, and cultural traditions. Vegetarian and vegan diets are healthy options within the spectrum.
The definition: “the planetary health diet is symbolically represented by half a plate of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The other half consists of primarily whole grains, plant proteins (beans, lentils, pulses), unsaturated plant oils, modest amounts of meat and dairy, and some added sugars and starchy vegetables.”
Why the planetary diet?
This humble idea was developed to create a dietary model that can achieve the following goals:
- To feed a world population of 10 billion in 2050
- To be environmentally sustainable as to prevent the collapse of the natural world
- To greatly reduce the worldwide number of deaths caused by poor diet
This Great Food Transformation is an essential pillar in keeping the world population well fed on the existing agricultural land i.e. by implementing a zero-expansion policy of new agricultural land, and adopting a “Half Earth” strategy for biodiversity conservation (i.e. conserve at least 80% of preindustrial species richness by protecting the remaining 50% of Earth as intact ecosystems).
So, how to eat a healthy planetary diet?
For the win-win effect, for both humans and the environment, there are some boundaries we are asked to respect in order to adapt our approach to food culture for the XXI Century. The idea is to keep the diet mainly plant-based and to diversify the source of protein, from mainly animal-based to the minimum (especially beef and pork). Another point is to keep the produce you buy as local as possible, to reduce the amount of carbon emitted while transporting. See a lot of great recipes here
Who is this diet for?
For anyone seeking to contribute to meaningful change in the most enjoyable way possible – through eating food 🤤
The planetary diet is in all honesty, like our planet – for everyone. It is dedicated to the XXI century and a sustainable future.