4 Ways a Plant-Based Diet is Good for the Planet
Not only is a plant-based diet good for you, it’s also good for the planet. There are many reasons how vegan diets can help the planet. But first, a few things to consider:
- 80% of food production-related greenhouse gases come from livestock. (Dr. Samuel Soret)
- 1 kg of beef produces the same amount of greenhouse gas as 13kg of grain (Dr. Joan Sabate)
- In its 2006 report, the United Nations said raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.
- The amount of beef the average American eats in a year creates as much greenhouse gas as driving a car over 1800 miles (Scientific American)
So how does a plant-based diet help the planet, exactly?
All that Methane
It’s probably not very nice to consider…well…animal emissions, but it happens. A lot. So much so that cows and sheep are responsible for 37% of the methane produced. This figure should concern you, as methane is 23x more harmful to the environment as CO2 as it warms up the planet more quickly. Just by ditching meat and dairy, you can significantly reduce harmful emissions, in more ways than one.
CO2 Emissions, and More
According to the UN, when you account for emissions from land use and land-use change, livestock is responsible for 9% of human-related CO2 emissions. Cutting back on meat and dairy (especially red meat and lamb) can cut CO2 emissions, but it can also reduce up to 64% of the ammonia that is released into the atmosphere, causing acid rain.
Cut Water Consumption
With drought a real concern, we have to look at our food choices based on their water consumption and decide whether it’s worthwhile continuing consuming foods that take up so many natural resources. Although estimates vary, it’s thought that producing a kilo (about 2.2 pounds) of beef can take 15,400 liters of water. A kilo of apples, on the other hand, takes only 822 liters of water and producing a kilo of tomatoes takes only 214 liters of water. (Source: Water Footprint Network) Think of how much water you could save!
Free Up Precious Resources
When we choose to eat a plant-based diet, we free up precious resources such as grain, water and land that can then benefit many others as well as ourselves. More than 50% of U.S. grain and nearly 40% of world grain is being fed to livestock rather than being consumed directly by humans. (Dr. Dean Ornish). Turning fields over to growing grain and produce for humans could significantly reduce worldwide food shortages. Additionally, plant-based eating creates less than half the carbon footprint of an average diet. Buying local produce can also cut down carbon emissions and help to support your community. It gives you something to think about the next time you are purchasing your food. At 22 Days Nutrition, we are proud to source local ingredients for our Vegan Meal Delivery and to choose 100% organic, non-GMO ingredients for all of our products. We believe that now more than ever, you are what you eat.