Go meat-free this Memorial Day—the traditional start of summer grilling season—for your health and the health of the planet.
Shifting diets from meat and other animal products to plant-based diets has a high potential for reducing carbon footprints and mitigating climate change, as well as improving human health, according to Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, a recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The authors say that studies demonstrate that a shift to plant-based diets rich in pulses, nuts, fruits, and vegetables could lead to substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as compared to current dietary patterns in most industrialized countries.
A study published last year shows just how critical cutting meat production is in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The study found that 57% of global greenhouse gas emissions from food production come from meat and dairy products. Beef contributes the most global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the study.
A vegan diet based on fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans is also best for human health, helping to prevent or reverse conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and helping to reduce the risk of breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers.