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The meat industry is one of the top contributors to climate change, directly and indirectly producing about 14.5 percent of the world’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and global meat consumption is on the rise. People generally like eating meat—when poor people start making more money, they almost invariably start buying more meat. As the population grows and eats more animal products, the consequences for climate change, pollution, and land use could be catastrophic.
Attempts to reduce meat consumption usually focus on baby steps—Meatless Monday and “vegan before 6,” passable fake chicken, and in vitro burgers. If the world is going to eat less meat, it’s going to have to be coaxed and cajoled into doing it, according to conventional wisdom.
Tag Archives | Planeat
No doubt the headline will cause some septuagenarians who eat nothing but processed meat and fried food to claim the “Western style diet” never hurt them, but a new study shows that for most people eating this stuff is likely to shorten your life. From Alpha Galileo Foundation:
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Data from a new study of British adults suggest that adherence to a “Western-style” diet (fried and sweet food, processed and red meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products) reduces a person’s likelihood of achieving older ages in good health and with higher functionality. Study results appear in the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.
“The impact of diet on specific age-related diseases has been studied extensively, but few investigations have adopted a more holistic approach to determine the association of diet with overall health at older ages,” says lead investigator Tasnime Akbaraly, PhD, Inserm, Montpellier, France. “We examined whether diet, assessed in midlife, using dietary patterns and adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), is associated with aging phenotypes, identified after a mean 16-year follow-up.”
The AHEI is a validated index of diet quality, originally designed to provide dietary guidelines with the specific intention to combat major chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
If you’re at all concerned about heart disease, you need to consider making plant foods most your diet. The film Planeat from Disinformation affiliate True Mind highlighted the groundbreaking work of doctors T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn, in which they demonstrated the benefits of plant-based diets for treating heart disease (not just reducing risk). Now Channel 4 News reports that in the biggest ever study of its kind in the UK, researchers from Oxford University have found a vegetarian diet dramatically reduces the risk of heart disease:
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Fancy a burger tonight? A new report might make you think again about your dinner. Researchers from the University of Oxford have analysed the diets of almost 45,000 volunteers in England and Scotland, to compare the rates of heart disease in those who do, and don’t eat meat and fish.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that vegetarians had a 32 per cent lower risk of falling ill or dying from heart disease.
With global warming looming, Amazonian rain forests being felled, and the world’s rivers and oceans choked with pollution, it’s easy to feel a little despondent. Is there anything we can really do to change the situation? And what role do we play in contributing to these problems? These thoughts weighed heavily on my mind and I was determined to find some answers. Oddly enough, it was my stomach that led the way.
I met chef Chad Sarno, who prepared the first meal I had ever had that was entirely made up of plants. Not a drop of butter or milk, and definitely no beef, duck, or chicken. He cooked lasagna, with cheese made from cashew nuts and pasta made from thinly sliced courgettes. Being half-Chinese, with roast duck and char siu my all- time favorite dishes, this was foreign territory for me. But I was instantly hooked. I had no idea that a plant-based meal could taste so good or be so satisfying, especially since I’d always believed a meal wasn’t a meal without a big portion of meat.… Read the rest
A searingly hot summer that’s affecting 88% of the United States’ corn crop has the government forecasting meat prices up to 5% higher next year. Perhaps that what caused the USDA, normally a staunch meat booster, to promote Meatless Mondays. This seemingly sage advice (vegetables are farm crops too, remember) to take a weekly day off from meat has many Americans even more hot and bothered. Amy Harmon reports for the New York Times:
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The message seemed innocuous enough, coming as it did from the federal agency tasked with promoting sustainable agriculture and dietary health: “One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias,” read a United States Department of Agriculture interoffice newsletter published on its Web site this week, “is to participate in the ‘Meatless Monday’ initiative.”
Thousands of corporate cafeterias, restaurants and schools have embraced the idea of skipping meat on Mondays in favor of vegetarian options, an initiative of the nonprofit Monday Campaign Inc.