top of page

Sustainable Diets - Part I

As we urgently accelerate climate action we deepen our understanding of how what we eat can affect our earth.

According to Bioversity International agriculture occupies 38% of land globally. From the millions of species on our planet only 5 livestock and 12 crops are widely utilised for animal and human nutrition. Farming represents the biggest use of fresh water and contributes to 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions. There is a large emphasis on dairy and ruminant meat (beef and lamb), which due to the methane these animals produce, are believed to significantly contribute to an increase in CO2 emissions and thereby global warming.

In the UK, it is estimated that a considered plant-based diet requires only one third of the fertile land, fresh water and energy of the typical British meat-and-dairy-based diet. Thus, reducing dairy and red meat and choosing a wide variety of plant foods can be symbiotically beneficial to the planet and our health. Latest diet recommendations such as the more sustainable One Blue Dot Diet and the EAT-Lancet Diet take account of not only the health of the population but also the health of the planet.

These recently recommended sustainable food system diets focus on:

  • using locally and seasonable sourced foods

  • reducing meat and dairy consumption

  • increasing wholegrain, legume, fruit and vegetable consumption

  • hydrating with water

  • reducing food waste

  • selecting food that meets a credible certified standard such as Fairtrade (protecting farmers and workers in developing countries), RSPCA Assured (farm animal welfare assurance scheme) and MSC Certification (fishery meets international best practice for sustainable fishing).

In the new year we’ll explore how we can make our diets more sustainable in more detail.

Happy eating,

Nina Thomas

Registered Associate Nutritionist

9 views0 comments


bottom of page