Dr. Shireen Kassam and Dr. Laura Freeman explain that diet-related diseases are at an all-time high and the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on climate change has been called a ‘code red for humanity’. These two issues are intimately related. Our food system is at the centre of three global crises: health, climate and ecological. We also have a crisis of ethics whereby more than a billion people remain hungry despite the production of enough food to feed two planets. If everyone ate a diet typical of the wealthiest nations, we would need seven planets to feed the world.
We have a simple solution in plain sight. A healthy plant-based diet would not only improve global health, preventing an estimated 1 in 5 deaths, but would keep the food system within planetary boundaries necessary to avert climate disaster, whilst promoting biodiversity and feeding more people. The Planetary Health Plate created by the Eat-Lancet commission is a predominantly plant-based diet, with more that 85% of energy derived from healthy plant foods, and acknowledges that a 100% plant-based diet is not only nutritionally adequate but has additional benefits for planetary health.
Our food choices matter.