5 Ways Eating Plant-Based Helps The Planet
Studies show that eating plant-based is one of the most impactful (and delicious) ways to reduce your environmental footprint. Here's a summary of why you should give it a try:
1. It combats world hunger
Did you know that one third of the grain grown in the world is used to feed livestock? Yet 1 in 4 people in the world are considered food insecure.
If more farmland was used to grow crops for humans, then more people could be fed with less of an expense to the planet. When more of us say no to meat, we stand up for those who are living a poorer quality of life.
Eating plant-based means we use the earth most efficiently, producing food without using animals as the middle-man.
2. Plants conserve water
The United Nations Environment Assembly found that eating a plant-based burger like Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat, requires about 85% less water than regular beef burgers. The majority of water used in animal agriculture is used to grow animal feed, hydrate the billions of animals, disinfect equipment, and process animal products.
Look at it this way, eating an Impossible Burger conserves enough water to equal about five 30-minute showers-- that's almost a weeks worth of shower water!
3. You will reduce your energy consumption
Raising livestock accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gases emitted each year. Also ruminants, such as cows, produce methane as they digest their food which is 21 times the global warming potential (GWP) of carbon dioxide. Yet, the production of sprouted plants like vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes cuts these emissions by more than half. Simply put, when you eat lower on the food chain, you lower your carbon footprint.
4. Plants purify the air
All the livestock in the world cause more air pollution than all modes of transportation in the world combined. YIKES! Plants actually clean the air through a process called photosynthesis. Plants absorb light, carbon dioxide, and water to produce oxygen as a byproduct, which we then breathe in. Not only that put plants also use a process called phytoremediation, in which it mitigates pollutants in the air, soil or water.
5. Plants clean up the soil
In order to raise livestock, you need land. To make more land, companies clear huge swaths of land of the different bio-elements like trees, that provide nutrients, to make room for the livestock to roam. This process is called deforestation and it accelerates climate change. The solution? Raising a diversity of plants nourishes the soil and leads to restoration and resilience for future generations of farmers.
I highly recommend watching Kiss The Ground on Netflix for more information on the restorative farming practice.
BONUS: It's better for your health
The health benefit of going plant-based is pretty significant. A study by the University of Oxford in 2016, concluded that those who switch to a plant-based diet reduced their risk of dying due to premature health causes by 15%. Vegan dieters also tend to have lower body weights, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Just remember to take a vitamin B12 supplement as that is the one nutrient missing in a meatless diet.
I understand that switching to a completely plant-based diet is not easy. Meat is blended into many of our customs, traditions, and it's just tasty. It can feel like a pleasure or a part of the human experience that you are giving up.
However, I do promise that eating plant-based is delicious and is not a punishment. I invite you to try any of the plant-based recipes on my blog and let me know if there is a certain dish you want to see plantified!