by Taetske | 1:28 pm
(Last Updated On: April 3, 2019)

 

Can a change of diet save the world?

 

Would you be willing to change your diet if that could save our planet? While you are thinking about your answer, let me tell you why I ask this question.

A new report was recently published in which an international group of scientists from 16 different countries proposed a life-saving diet. It will not only save your life, but the focus includes saving the planet. It was published recently in The Lancet.

 

supermarket with fresh fruits and vegetables

Supermarket with fresh fruits and vegetables

How to feed 10 billion people

It is predicted that by the year 2050, there will be approximately 10 billion people on this earth. All these people want to eat. We have already 3 billion people who are malnourished. Clearly, a big change has to occur so we can all survive.

When you consider that trees are cleared from forests to convert the land to agriculture (remember that trees are what produces the vast majority of our oxygen supply), it is obvious we have to wake up and recognize that the consequences of our behavior are staring us straight in the eye. We have to reduce our carbon dioxide production (and other greenhouse gases) and realize that the meat and dairy industries are 2 of the biggest causes of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

a variety of nuts

A variety of nuts

This could save our planet

If we change the way we eat, and in the process, improve our health and reduce greenhouse gases (thus helping to save the planet), I think it is a good idea, don’t you?

Now you may want to know what will be on your plate. Well, sorry, but fast food hamburgers are a no go. Fast food is driving our collective health into an abyss. Eating fast food and man-made foods have significantly affected our health. Just look around you. In the US, 2 out of every 3 men are overweight or obese and the rate for women is higher (Wikipedia).

A study from the National Center for Health Statistics reported that 39.6% of US adults age 20 and older were obese (not just overweight) as of 2015-2016 (37.9% for men and 41.1% for women)

Being obese brings with it a higher rate of heart problems and diabetes not to mention cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia. The big culprit being the way we live and eat.

 

healthy vegetables

Healthy vegetables

 

What does the diet consist of

For our planet (and us) to become healthy again, we have to eat a primarily plant-based diet. Now please do not think you must only chew on a lettuce leaf, there are many tasty things which fall into this category. You can eat all the vegetables and all fruits. How about different types of nuts and seeds. All the items just mentioned are known for containing valuable vitamins and minerals.

Sugar and animal protein are not big on this list of foods. Percentage wise you will only get small amounts of it. The Lancet Commission states that the death risks of an unhealthy diet are greater than unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use combined.

 

 

The flexitarian diet

This new type of diet now also has a name, it is called the flexitarian diet. It is mainly plant-based but you will get a little fish, meat, and some dairy. Of course, the source of this all should be pesticide free and the meat should come from animals that lived a healthy life.

No growth hormones, preservatives or feed contaminated with chemically augmented nutrients, or other nasty things in their food. Lately one has heard stories on the Norwegian salmon which are not pretty. It seems the meat of these fish is not healthy anymore.

 

fruit basket

Fruit basket

 

Your carbon footprint

The production of meat leaves a massive carbon footprint, especially from those mass production sites. Switching over to a plant-based diet is cheaper and also better for our environment. Because there is an ongoing effort to bring back part of the 7000 forgotten crops, there will not be a shortage of types of food to eat.

People will argue that cattle production is needed to feed the world but this is a mistake. It takes 1.5 – 2 acres of land to feed one cow calf for 12 months and it takes 0.5 acres of cropland to feed one person for a year. The challenge of feeding the world population is not the land but the political corruption that prevents food supplies from reaching the malnourished and starving nations.

We must also become more conscious of the value of clean water as we progress to a more plant-based diet.

 

old olive press

Old olive press

 

Conclusion

Have you found an answer to my question? Are you willing to do your part in saving our planet? You might think it is difficult to change. Well, let me give you a small example to prove change is possible. When I came to live in Spain, I heard that extra virgin olive oil is good for you. You see the Spanish people eating breakfast in the local bar, having their coffee with bread and olive oil. I grew up in Holland and was used to butter on my bread.

 

olives and olive oil

Olives and olive oil

 

The first time I put oil on my breakfast toast, I must admit I did not really like it. I persisted and after less than a week, I stopped missing the butter and enjoyed the oil. It is like reeducating your taste buds. Changing your eating habits, your health will benefit and you will contribute to saving the planet, how cool is that?

 

An Afterthought

The idea to have to change one’s diet might not appeal to all people. When one thinks about the negative effects a wrong diet might have on one’s health, one comes to realize that life is precious. To reach old age in good condition instead of suffering a whole bunch of ailments, which could have been avoided with proper nourishment, you might want to reconsider your point of view.

These days I came across this disturbing video. I think our efforts should be bigger and sooner as otherwise, it might be too late. I hope you will take the time to watch this video.

 

 

Source: Tehrene Firman on Jan. 17. 2019 on Well and Good

Photo Source: Pixabay

 

Perhaps you also like to read the following post.

How To Improve Your Environment With Edible-Landscapes

Comments

los

Hi Taetske,

Thanks so much for this article. I really enjoyed reading it and learned a lot. I had no idea that the way we eat had such a huge impact on the world. Your article really shed light on some of the problems related to the way we eat. I hope this article will reach and inspire many people.

Keep up the great work!

Jan 21.2019 | 03:43 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Ios,

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?

    Nice to hear you found my article of interest. I also hope a lot of people will read it and then perhaps change over to a healthier diet. It will be of benefit to them and at the same time help our planet to survive.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 21.2019 | 04:32 pm

Chris

I actually watched a section on the BBC News service about this just last week – very interesting angle indeed. 

They were saying how much damage we could avoid if people simply cut down (and I mean WAY down) on red meat every week and ate more vegetable based and salad based meals. 

I’m glad you went a little deeper into what happens, as the program didn’t go that far, and failed to mention the biggie here (greenhouse gasses). 

Very interesting and informative article (yet again!)

Jan 21.2019 | 03:47 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Chris,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment and the yet again, that is nice of you.

    The smaller our carbon footprint gets the better for everything and everybody. It is high time we really come to realize the clock is ticking. Where can we go if this planet becomes inhabitable? I do not fancy a house on the Moon and neither on Mars, I like it here.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 21.2019 | 04:37 pm

Gno

I am vegan, but not because of saving the planet. I am an animal right activist but sure there are many other good benefits of plant-based diet so I am happy when someone tries it. Saving the planet is also important and sure if more people will be healthier it will be good for the economy too.

I liked your article and I hope that many readers will try a plant-based diet or change lifestyle.

Jan 21.2019 | 03:49 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon,

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I am not a vegan but nearly. I cannot resist the good tasting eggs of my happy chickens. I have 2 black girls who have not put an egg for years, they only eat, get fresh weeds and enjoy life.

    My farm is organic so I enjoy a lot of homegrown things. I would say life is good here. 

    An important thing I did not mention is that this diet makes people less aggressive, something the world has too much off.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 21.2019 | 04:28 pm

Michele

Hi Taetske – I really enjoyed reading your post.  I had heard of the flexitarian diet, but didn’t know the details of what was included as far as what foods to eat and not eat.  And now I realize it’s not just about what type of foods, but choosing foods that leave a lower carbon footprint.  This will definitely benefit everyone and the planet in years to come.

Thank you for this information.

Michele

Jan 21.2019 | 03:52 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Michele,

    Thank you for your visit to my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    In 1986 I stopped to work as a tourist guide and started to work really hard on my farm. That was the time I started to think about what foods do to your health. Slowly but surely I changed my diet and now I am pretty close to the flexitarian one. My health is fine and I do not have any ailments. The only problem I have is sitting too much at the computer which made me a bit fatter, a shame, have to do something about that.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 21.2019 | 04:20 pm

Mustapha Ibrahim

The “planetary health diet” offers five strategies to encourage people to change their eating habits. These include governments giving incentives to eat healthier and intensifying agriculture sustainability. 

One of the recommendations is for those in North America and Europe to reduce meat and sugar consumption and to eat more fruits, vegetables and nuts.

When considering changes to your diet, Best Food Facts experts advise eating a balanced dietthat includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and high-quality proteins.

Apr 04.2019 | 08:11 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Mustapha,

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Yes, I know, in Europe and America we eat too much meat, sugar, and man-made foods. Also, the fact that fast food has spread nearly over the whole world does not make the situation better.

    It is high time to rethink our lifestyle and eating habits as these have a big impact on our environment. 

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 05.2019 | 06:32 am

primoz pticak

hi! I’m a butcher, well to be more precisely I’m the master butcher, and of course doing my job i must agree with you – too many animals are killed to feed people, but  to be more accurate, only half and probably less than half of any animals that are butchered are used to feed people. So if you thing, we should consider 4 acres for a cow, and to compare it to 0.5 acres, I think we got an answer. Oh one more thing – meat should be in our menu just once per week.

Apr 04.2019 | 08:18 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Primoz,

    I agree with you, once a week to eat meat is enough. Then we also eat some fish, eggs from happy chickens, and our health would improve a lot. More fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils, like that we could live a hundred years. Take the stress away, clean air and water and for sure no GMO, pesticides, etc. If the world were like this it would be wonderful.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Apr 05.2019 | 06:27 am

LABULO FUNMILAYO

This article is just so amazing,I enjoyed every piece of what you said and the example you sighted. Truly there is no one who can’t change his or her diet. We are design to amend to every changes that occurs in our environment including the type of meal we take in. Obesity is getting more rampant as you find kids suffering from it due to the poor meal combination they take. I am ready to make amend on any diet that won’t make a positive impact in me.

Apr 04.2019 | 08:20 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Labulo,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I am convinced that if we all would think a bit more before eating it already could make a difference. To know how things are grown, if it needs a lot of water, if it pollutes the environment with herbicides and pesticides, if plastic is used for wrapping, and the list goes on. 

    To become more conscious of our lifestyle and the effect it has on the world would be a good thing.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 05.2019 | 06:22 am

Andrew

Wow, I don’t know where to start after reading your article. You have clearly put a lot of thought and research into writing this and hopefully your article will be a wake up call to many people. I have recently tried to start doing my part to help save the planet. We all have so much work to do and nobody can do it alone!

There are so many of us living on this delicate planet that we need to do something, and fast! I recently started looking into the meat industry and that really shocked me. The way that we are treating animals in order to feed our food addiction is absolutely disgusting. I’m not saying that eating meat is right or wrong, but I would recommend that people investigate where their food is coming from. I was shocked and amazed at the way our meat is produced. 

A mainly plant based diet is the way to go. But I can also see why so many people end up obese too. We are constantly bombarded with reminders to eat. You can’t go anywhere these days without seeing an advertisement for some kind of unhealthy food. 

We all need to change, but change needs to start happening globally on a mass scale if we are going to save this planet. I guess we all need to start by saving ourselves first.

Thanks for a great article!

Andrew
    

Apr 13.2019 | 07:15 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Andrew,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I know, the meat industry is awful and cruel, I do not think it is wrong to eat meat now and then but we must realize animals have feelings and a soul too. We have no right to treat them like this. Doing this we are being punished as this type of meat has a bad effect on our health.

    One way would be to boycott meat from mass production. Boycott food made with GMO. Information is our best weapon. Not blindly follow what is being told and presented in advertisements 

    I say back to nature. When the human race started making man-made foods in the belief it would be better than what nature provides for us it went all wrong and slowly but surely our health went into decline.

    Nice to hear you found my post informative.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 13.2019 | 01:54 pm

afolabi anumicheal

Thanks for writing this asking this question can a change of diet change the world?from my own point of view is possible it can change the world but the question again is ,Are we ready to change our diet for the world we live at large? No.one things about the human being is that we are not one base on many things. Talk of religion, fate, believe, race and the rest. But if we are going to make this change happen we need more enlightenment around the world. Each and every human must realize one harm or the other we are doing to ourselve and the world we live in. And above all the witness to change without playing politics with this important issue like this. 

Apr 13.2019 | 07:17 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Afolabi,

    We, the people should just do it and let the politicians follow. We should better start now as there is not much time left. There are many environmental issues that are important and urgent. When you come to think of it most a man-made. 

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 13.2019 | 01:36 pm

Frederick

I’d like to just say thank you so much for all the great information that you give on your website,it’s simply awesome!!!With the ever growing high prices of Doctor prescribed and over the counter medications that alot of times can do more harm can good,it’s nice to know I’ve found a place that can help me find and understand more safer alternatives.

I will be coming back to you time and time again!!!!!

thanks Frederick

Apr 13.2019 | 07:18 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Frederick,

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Nice to hear you find my post informative. It is not easy to remain healthy these days. The best one can do is to be informed about what is happening around us. Do not fall for glossy advertisement as the companies behind them only think about money, not our health.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 13.2019 | 01:18 pm

Tolu

The answer is Yes. A change of diet can make the earth a better and safer place for us all. So much destruction is done to the planet daily all in the name of food production. Trees are cut daily, chemicals such as pesticide are added to the soil that kills the natural micro-organisms present in the soil. 

While I agree with you on most of the things here, however, on the issue of substituting animal proteins with plant-based protein especially that of meat, I tend not to agree. Can you provide examples of plant-based protein that can replace meat?

Apr 13.2019 | 07:28 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Tolu,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.

    Here comes a list of plant-based protein.

    Tofu, Lentils, Chickpeas and most varieties of beans, Yeast, Spelt and Teff ( they are ancient grains) Hempseed, Green Peas, Spirulina ( that well known blue-green algae) Amaranth and Quinoa, Oats and Wild Rice, Chia seed and other seeds. Different types of Nuts ( only the untreated ones of course)

    There you see, nature provides many sources of protein. Add an egg or 2 from happy chickens and you are all set.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 13.2019 | 01:08 pm

JealousLi

Hello, Taetske. This is the first time I learned about the term of flexitarian diet from your article. Thank you for letting me know that we can change the world as long as everyone is willing to change the diet. Every day we eat a lot of meat, such as beef, lamb, chicken, etc., If people are willing to change their diet, they will reduce greenhouse gases to help to save the planet.
I agree with your opinion. But the earth is too big, and there is so many countries. if only we do like this and the government does nothing, our work will not bring any substantial changes.

Apr 13.2019 | 07:31 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Li, I hope I got your name right?

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    If we keep animals in a humane way, give them organic food and cut down on eating meat that would already be a good step forward. Now and then a piece of good quality meat instead of everyday GMO meat would do our health good. Personally, I do not think that eating meat sometimes is bad but the system setup is cruel and also unhealthy.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 13.2019 | 12:49 pm

Chidiking88

Do you really mean that the death risk of an unhealthy diet is greater than unsafe sex?  That struck me deep. In fact, a whole lot of people including me, have been eating very wrongly. I didn’t know, aside from other things, that my unhealthy diet actually has a bad impact on our planet until I read this article. More so as you rightly mentioned the onus of fear in making a shift to another diet(a healthy one), has been my fears because I grew up eating typically, unhealthy diet. I felt exercising enough and a lot can actually avert any future health dangers. With this article, I find out it’s doable to start a healthy diet through actually taking the good bold step. 

Apr 13.2019 | 07:32 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Chidiking, who is floating in the air?

    Yes, I am serious, sorry. One is never too old to make a change in one’s lifestyle and eating habits. As our cells renew on a regular basis you might be healthier at 60 than when you were 30. I like that good bold step, I hope you will take it.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske 

    Apr 13.2019 | 12:44 pm

Brent

On a serious note the way we eat has contributed largely to the damage to our health status. Medical experts warmed about what we eat in order for us to be healthy, example staying away from sugary food to avoid diabetes. I enjoyed this article because it actually yet again point out that the way we eat has an effect on our health. I have learnt something important today. Great job.

Apr 13.2019 | 07:59 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Brent,

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    It is important to realize that our actions be it on a personal level or globally seen will have an effect. When I stopped working in 1986 I started to get interested in food and what it does to you. I have gone through my personal evolution so to speak. Having a website I have become more conscious that our actions and how we eat also have an effect on the environment.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 13.2019 | 12:36 pm

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