Less meat draws ire from the food industry as scientists push for sustainability

The world’s population is growing and to keep up with this food consumption must be cut by more than half and plant-based foods will have to increase.

This isn’t surprising considering one trend of 2019 is an increase of plant-based products and beef consumption is a huge problem in the fight to slow climate change.

A recent research study released by The Lancet titled “Food in the Antropocene: the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems,” found that food systems are threatening both human health and environmental sustainability.

Via The Lancet,

The international community has taken steps in recent decades to reduce hunger and improve nutrition through global agendas such as the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Decade of Action on Nutrition. However, wide-scale undernutrition still exists alongside increasing prevalence of overweight, obesity, and non-communicable diseases. Low dietary quality contributes to undernutrition, overweight, and obesity, and has caused persistent micronutrient deficiencies. Globally, more than 820 million people remain undernourished,7 151 million children are stunted, 51 million children are wasted, 8and more than 2 billion people are micronutrient deficient. 9Concurrently, prevalence of diseases associated with high-calorie, unhealthy diets are increasing, with 2·1 billion adults overweight or obese 10and the global prevalence of diabetes almost doubling in the past 30 years. 11, 12 Unhealthy diets are the largest global burden of disease and pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than does unsafe sex, alcohol, drug, and tobacco use combined. 4Because much of the global population is inadequately nourished (ie, undernutrition, overnutrition, and malnutrition), the world’s diets urgently need to be transformed. Food production is the largest cause of global environmental change. Agriculture occupies about 40% of global land, 13and food production is responsible for up to 30% of global greenhouse-gas emissions 14and 70% of freshwater use. 2, 15

It is easy for science deniers to ignore this information, but it cannot be stressed enough that once the earth is completely damaged, it will be difficult and possibly impossible to fix.

It is unclear how this study will influence the food industry and its consumers, but it will be interesting to see what the industry looks like as it transforms itself to fit sustainable eating and whether consumers take part in sustainable eating lifestyles.

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