Planetary Health Diet — Yes, You Can Eat Meat!

Planetary Health Diet — Yes, You Can Eat Meat!


A group of 37 scientists have been brought
together as part of the EAT-Lancet Commission to construct the ultimate diet to feed the
growing human population. The current world’s population is around 7.7 billion people and
that’s expected to reach about 10 billion by 2050. Our current diets of lots of red
meat and dairy are apparently unsustainable. But never fear meat-eaters! The Planetary
Health Diet allows the occasional consumption of meat and dairy. The pool of scientists
brought together were from a mix of scientific backgrounds including nutrition, farming,
and climate change. Together they came up with a list of foods that have the least impact
on the environment, but provide adequate nutrition. In terms of protein, the best foods to consume
include nuts, beans, chickpeas, lentils, fish (well, only about 28g a day on average), about
one egg a week, 14g of red meat a day (so like half a slice of ham), and about 29g of
chicken. Apparently you can have up to 250g of dairy a day — the equivalent of one glass
of milk, or about 50g of cheese. In terms of carbs, you can munch down about 232g of
wholegrain foods like bread and rice (the equivalent of about 7 slices of bread). You
can also eat 50g of starchy vegetables (so like, half a potato). The diet also recommends
that you eat 300g of vegetables, and 200g of fruit. Sugar should be limited to 31g a
day, and oils such as olive oil should be limited to 50g. So overall, the diet doesn’t look too bad.
If you love eating huge amounts of beef, lamb, and farmed prawns, then you’re out of luck
I guess. But it turns out beef and lamb consumption in Australia are actually declining year-on-year
— beef quite dramatically. Australians are actually consuming much more chicken and pork
than they used to, and are almost not consuming mutton anymore. So what will governments do in order to encourage
us to change our habits? Well, the researchers said that a tax on meat will probably be necessary
in order to actually bring about any meaningful change. People tend to buy things less when
they become expensive (See smoking in Australia — the average packet of cigarettes costs
about $25 or $30 now). Obviously education campaigns will be required to teach our kids
which foods are good and which foods are bad for the environment. I know some of my vegan listeners will be
saying, “Well, why not just promote a vegan diet?”. Well you’re right in that a vegan
diet is one of the best diets for the planet, but unfortunately, most meat-eaters find it
bland and not very satisfying. It’s not very realistic to expect ardent meat-eaters
to switch to tofu burgers and lentil soup. So having a little bit of meat included in
the diet is probably a necessity. One benefit, or disadvantage depending how
you look at it, is that the Planetary Health Diet will actually prevent about 11 million
people from dying each year. This is largely due to reducing the number of people dying
from diseases related to unhealthy diets such as strokes, heart attacks, and some cancers.
By creating a diet to feed a large world population, we are actually going to increase the world’s
population by making people live longer — a little bit ironic, perhaps. So what’s your thoughts on the Planetary
Health Diet? Are you going to voluntarily cut back your meat and dairy consumption and
increase your nut and legume consumption? Or has all this talk about lamb and beef increased
your appetite even more and soon your planning to head down to the local burger joint and
buy yourself a works burger with the lot? Probably the picture that I’ve shown you
throughout this video hasn’t helped much. So anyway, diet is important. It’s not only
important for your health — it’s becoming increasingly important for the planet. Tofu?
Legumes? Nuts? Eat up my friends!