coming around to a planetary health diet

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It’s old news for at least some folks. A recently-released report, researched and written by scientists, suggests that our animal-centered diet is unhealthy and it’s bad for the environment in a big way.

“Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems” proposes the “planetary health diet” as a major part of the solution to our health and environment concerns. They assert such a diet would help us to avert climate change while preventing millions of deaths and improving health around the globe.

At the crux of the proposed diet? Globally significant reductions in foods like meat and sugar (by more than half), and doubled consumption of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts – you know, plants.

Surprised? I thought not.

At the same time, we’re awfully slow and tentative in our embrace of a way of eating that holds the promise of so much positive outcome. Those outcomes go well beyond the commission’s vision, too.

Back in 2005, Dr. Will Tuttle beautifully and painstakingly explored the roots and impacts of our animal-based diet here in the US, and he proposed a happy alternative in his book The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony. When you grasp the picture Tuttle paints, you realize the wild extremes of the startling damage our animal-centric diet inflicts on us, the very way we think, our relationships, on others with whom we share our earth, and on the world.

Tuttle’s answer to that is pretty simple, logical, and indeed doable. It certainly jives with the EAT-Lancet Commission’s conclusion. From their summary report:

The global adoption of healthy diets from sustainable food systems would safeguard our planet and improve the health of billions.

World Peace? Healthy life? Planetary Health? Hell, yeah!

And yet, here we are still simply romancing the concepts. They look good from a distance, but folks remain reluctant to get close. We continue to be wooed by the old, abusive amour, and thus our unhealthy addictions continue with only minor concessions to our better judgment.

It’s time. It’s time to step up. Take care of yourself. Take care of your kids. Take care of our earth. It’s right there in your kitchen. It’s one thing you can actually control – at least for now.

Even if you can’t make it to vegan yet, move in that direction. Do it with full intent, with purpose, with a plan to ultimately go full bore. There are plenty of books, blogs, and vlogs out there to help you find your way, but, honestly, it’s not complicated. We make it complicated for ourselves by our extreme dependence on all things animal and processed and advertised.

Start now. A few things to shoot for:

  1. Reduce your animal consumption, at least by half. Start reading labels and be astonished by how huge a role animals play in your food beyond that burger on your plate.
  2. Eat more plants and a wide variety. The less processed, the better. Greens and beans are your friends.
  3. Support each other. Let’s move past the snide comments about rabbit food and work compassionately together for the better.

It’s your health and our planet we’re talking about here. 

Okay, then. One. Two. Three. Go! Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “coming around to a planetary health diet

  1. It’s amazing how ingrained our thinking is when it comes to food. I don’t buy dairy milk, we drink almond or coconut. The kids are used to it, it’s what they know. We were all brought up in my generation drinking whole milk, eating lots of meat and processed foods; but. over time, we can all change. Like you said, start small and work your way up. Once you do your homework, you find that there are so many plant based sources of calcium, protein, and everything we need. I remember reading an article where, in Wisconsin, doctors were writing prescriptions for fruit and vegetable consumption, and insurances were considering paying for produce/groceries instead of prescription drugs. Think of it? How awesome would that be? And, it’s a permanent solution for so many people, unlike prescriptions, synthetic drugs, and man-made solutions.

    1. You are absolutely right – we can all change. Great to hear that there are more doctors out there tuning into nutritional solutions. Hippocrates was on to it when he said, “Let food be thy medicine…” 🙂

  2. Though I have no desire to become vegan, I do understand the value of a largely plant based diet, as I’ve returned to my childhood eating habits. I love most vegetables and haven’t met a bean I didn’t like. I’m feeling much healthier (the numbers are bearing this out) and my digestive system is thanking me. Don’t get me started on my increased energy level!

    Thanks for this post!

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