Growing concerns about the environmental impacts, healthiness, and ethical implications of eating animal-based products, such as meat, eggs, and milk, has led to an increase in demand for plant-based alternatives. Plant-based food has the potential to drive a much more healthy and sustainable future, but that won’t happen unless people eat it.
Using science & technology to create plant–based food instead of cruel animal practices. Plant-based technology is a subject of rising popularity and innovation globally. Plant-based foods have the potential to unlock enormous benefits for people and the planet, but that will only happen if they live up to, or even exceed, what consumers expect from animal-based counterparts.
How are climate change and food linked?
Food is one of society’s key sensitivities to climate. A year of not enough or too much rainfall, a hot spell or cold snap at the wrong time, or extremes, like flooding and storms, can have a significant effect on local crop yields and livestock production.
Climate change poses a considerable threat to global food security, with potentially existential economic, political, and social outcomes for humanity. Historical statistical studies and integrated assessment models provide evidence that climate change will affect agricultural yields and earnings, food prices, reliability of delivery, food quality, and, notably, food safety. Low-income producers and consumers of food will be more vulnerable to climate change owing to their comparatively limited ability to invest in adaptive institutions and technologies under increasing climatic risks.
The world population is expected to grow to almost 10 billion by 2050. With 3.4 billion more mouths to feed, and the growing desire of the middle class for meat and dairy in developing countries, global demand for food could increase by between 59 and 98 percent.
Switch to Plant-Based Diets is “Most Important” Way to Fight Climate Change
A new study conducted by the University of Oxford has found that a switch towards plant-based diets is vital to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. It follows on from a previous study by the university, which found that eating a vegan diet could reduce our carbon footprint by 73%.
3 ways plant-based diets positively impact the environment
- Save water : Eating a plant-based diet can save up to one-fifth of water used for agriculture and also reduces the transmission of water pollutants — a big deal when you consider that water covers 71% of our planet’s surface area. To get specific, oats are grown using seven times less water than dairy milk and produce six times less water pollution.
- Minimize greenhouse gases: Greenhouse gas emissions, like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are some of the biggest contributors to climate change that exist. Since animal agriculture currently accounts for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, it’s easy to see how what we choose to put in our coffee and cereal every day can make a big difference. In fact, by just eating plant-based, you can halve your carbon food-print.
- Less land: Agriculture covers almost 40 percent of land mass on Earth and if we ditch meat and stick to a plant-based diet then we require 42 percent of less cropland. You might be surprised to learn that if you were to drink a glass of milk each day for a year, it would add up to 7,000 sq ft of land that’s being used to house animals. By switching to oat milk, there’s the potential to preserve up to 5,600 sq ft of land annually — that’s about two tennis courts worth of land.
On the upside, eating a diet high in plant-based deliciousness while reducing your consumption of animal products can counter these challenges, paving the way to a brighter, greener future for all life on earth.
Not only the environment but plant-based diet can make you healthyWhat is a plant-based diet?
A whole-food, plant-based diet is centred on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It's a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.
Defining Plant-Based Diets
Here’s a few of the more common plant-based diets you may have come across.
- Flexitarian: mostly plant foods, but can include dairy, eggs, fish and occasionally meat
- Pescatarian: mostly plant foods but can include dairy, eggs and fish
- Vegetarian: mostly plant foods but can include dairy and/or eggs
- Vegan: only plant foods; no dairy, eggs, fish, seafood, poultry, meat or other animal-derived foods
5 health benefits of a plant-based diet:
- It supports your immune system: Plants have essential nutrients that you cannot get from other foods. The vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants in plants help keep your cells healthy and your body in balance so that your immune system can function at its best.
- Plant foods reduce inflammation: Plants’ essential nutrients work to resolve inflammation in your body. The same tiny phytochemicals and antioxidants that boost your immune system also go around your body neutralizing toxins from pollution, processed food, bacteria, viruses and more.
- Better weight management: People who eat primarily plant based diets tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and lower rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease than those who eat meat.
- Lower risk of heart disease and other conditions: A 2019 study from the Journal of the American Heart Association found that middle aged adults who ate diets high in healthful plant foods and low in animal products had a lower risk of heart disease.
- Plants are high in fiber: Plant based diets are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, and water content from fruit and vegetables. This may help to keep people feeling fuller for longer.
Future of plant based technologyEntrepreneurs and investors are making the most of the world’s excitement about clean technology, hammering out innovations in every energy-related field. Many of the projects show great promise for helping to meet the greenhouse-gas limits. Here are 7 Top Startups Creating Plant-Based Alternatives For Animal Products
Consumer demand and positive reception over the last few years have illustrated that plant-based food are here to stay. Plant-based meats represent the kind of change the world needs at a time when the climate catastrophe is wreaking havoc, and many people are suffering negative health effects from consuming too much conventional meat.