EAT-Lancet & the Planetary Diet
The EAT-Lancet report, released early 2019, answers arguably the most important question in the world right now - how do we feed a rapidly growing population, that’s half obese and half malnourished, within safe sustainable limits? What is the right ‘planetary diet’ for the next couple of decades, that balances optimal health, climate change mitigation and food security?
The answer, from 38 of the world’s foremost scientists in the field, is not a completely vegan or vegetarian diet. The right mix is a primarily plant-based diet, rich in pulses, plant protein, whole grains and the right fats, and with an allowance of around four servings of animal protein a week (one meat, two fish, one egg). The research is based on Johan Rockstrom’s findings on planetary boundaries, very interesting in its own right.
They way we currently eat is not only causing 2.1 billion of us to be overweight, it is the main driver of biodiversity loss and responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, global population will have spiked from the current 7.7 billion to 9.8 billion. Almost unimaginable changes need to be made to the food system for this transition to take place. Yet if we don’t do it, we are almost doomed to fail the Paris Agreement, due to the outsized impact of food production on the planet.
It’s time for all of us, individually, to look at our daily actions, set an example in our families and friend circles, our workplaces, and welcome those difficult discussions.