New Plant-Focused Diet Could Save the Planet's Future, Says Scientists

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It suggests limiting your intake of red meat and sugar by 50% and doubling your consumption of foods such as fish, vegetables, fruit, legumes, wholegrains and nuts (ie. nothing we haven't heard before, really).

This alone, experts say, would prevent around 11 million early deaths by 2050. "We are in a catastrophic situation", co-author Tim Lang, a professor at the University of London and policy lead for the EAT-Lancet Commission that compiled the 50-page study, told AFP.

It would also be good for the planet because "global food production threatens the stability of our climate system and our ecosystems".

'While this is uncharted territory and these problems are not easily fixed, this goal is within reach'.

It's also supposed to feed 10 billion people (the estimated population of Earth by 2050) and not cause any environmental damage. As the scientists, at the moment, about a billion people starving and another two billion eat an excessive amount of "wrong" food, which leads to the development of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Previous studies have shown meat uses 83 per cent of the world's farmland while providing only 18 per cent of calories.

Not everyone will be on board on an individual level, so the EAT-Lancet committee is seeking commitment from national and global bodies to make sweeping changes to food production, distribution, and marketing; as well as to make healthy foods more available, accessible and affordable in place of unhealthier alternatives.

Under the new regimen, adults would be limited to 14 grammes of red meat a day - equivalent to half a rasher of bacon - and get no more than 30 calories from it.

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Sugar intake would be cut by half to just 31g a day and potato intake by three-quarters to 50g. While fast-food consumption has decreased in recent years many people continue to prefer a quick meal that can be ordered, paid and consumed within 15 minutes instead of waiting more for a healthy alternative like salads.

Another argument in the favor of a green diet is brought by the fact that meat production consumes valuable resources that could be used to grow a considerably higher amount of cereals and vegetables.

He added: 'We are not talking about deprivation to do this. The report mostly confirms the core of what we already recognise as healthy eating patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet or the Okinawa diet. In Berlin, Germany, craftsman Erik Langguth said there are better ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and dismissed the suggestion that the world needs to cut back on meat.

“We support the opportunity raised by proposing a meat tax to open the public discourse on this issue of meat and dairy production and consumption.

You can do your part by going meatless more often, and trying to get more vegetables, whole grains and beans into your diet.

Melinda said: "The world has actually become dramatically healthier in the last 20 years". 'But I don't have it every day, I have it about three times a year.

Critics dismissed the campaign being launched today as "nanny-state madness".

Besides what you eat, many dietitians focus on WHY you make certain food choices. Christopher Snowdon from London's Institute of Economic Affairs criticised the report even more harshly: "Most people will look at these demands - concocted by activist-academics and taxpayer-funded United Nations bureaucrats - and laugh, but I welcome this report because it reveals the full agenda of nanny state campaigners".

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