If you’re a meat-lover, there’s nothing quite like tucking into a juicy steak or breathing in the heady aroma of boerewors sizzling on the braai.
But even the most diehard meat-eater is finding it harder and harder to ignore the facts: the production of meat is affecting our poor, beleaguered planet.
Research shows livestock is responsible for about 14,5% of greenhouse gas emissions, and 70% of global deforestation takes place in order to grow animal feed.
Little wonder that Veganuary – a movement that encourages eating plant-based foods in the first month of the year – is growing in popularity. In the UK alone, 250 000 people signed up for the largely meat-free month last year.
The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet and Health has determined that “significant dietary shifts must take place by 2050”.
“Global consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes will have to double and consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar will have to be reduced by 50%,” the panel of experts say.
The world is taking note: by the end of last year, plant-based diets were one of the top global food trends.
“Last year saw a substantial increase in plant-based diets,” says Cindy Chin, a dietician at Woolworths. “That means vegetables and plant products are no longer just side dishes but the main meal.”
“If everyone followed a plant-based diet, there would be more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet,” says Donovan Will, director of food awareness organisation ProVeg South Africa.
Many of us don’t want to go the whole hog and ditch meat entirely – but if you’re keen to take things a bit further than Meatless Mondays or Veganuary, you’ll be doing the planet a favour.
So how do you do this while ensuring you still eat a properly balanced diet?
HOW TO GET STARTED
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23 January 2020