Health meets sustainability in this controversial global diet transformation put forward by the EAT- Lancet commission. They have been tasked with creating 1 global healthy sustainable diet to save our bodies and the planet.
This is a fascinating paper, combining health and sustainability goals to create a global "sustainable healthy diet". We will not all agree, but it's early days and an interesting discussion point. We need to keep in mind that the point of this paper (and commission) is to find a GLOBAL diet that will adequately nourish 20 billion people by 2050 (That's a whole other discussion right there.) Solutions are required and our global food system needs to be fixed before it's too late.
+ we need to reduce food waste by 50%
+ a lot of us could eat less, but some of us need access to food to eat more
+ you can never eat too many vegetables,
the average global human needs to
+ increase their plant based protein intake (enormously) and
+ decrease their meat, dairy and egg consumption (this point will cause the most controversy on both dietary and sustainability levels. But interestingly it's the overconsumption of lower quality grain fed, meats that cause some of the biggest dietary risks and environmental degradation.) There is recognition of the need for animals in agriculture to maintain soil integrity.
Risks of not adopting the new global diet
+ Increased diet related diseases (cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes etc) and malnutrition (overfed/ undernourished and underfed/ undernourished)
+ increase in green house gases, leading to accelerated climate change
+ habitat loss to make space for more agricultural land.
Controversy will ensue for sure. This paper addresses UN Sustainable development goals which seek to end poverty, protect the planet, ensure prosperity for all and eradicate hunger and malnourishment on a global level (They are pretty BIG goals).
Most people reading this article have the money to buy the food they choose to eat and may be confused by the perceived high level of grain (especially Paleo peeps) and low levels of meat, fish and dairy in the Healthy Reference diet. Keep in mind that this is a global diet, aimed to feed all AND protect our environment whilst supporting 20 billion people in 2050.
There are a lot of questions, why palm (habitat destruction) and soya bean (very high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids) oil over heart healthy olive oil and other omega 3 fatty acids.
Why so few eggs and so much chicken?
There is so much to question and yet this commission is full of intelligent world leaders. Fingers crossed it gets an upgrade.
If you'd like to read more, here is the full article, with some highlighting.