Plant-based Diet: How Can It Help the Environment?

The challenges we faced today in regards to the environment are vast and diverse. 

These challenges range from destroying animal and plant habitats through deforestation to the predictions of leading environmental experts about global warming.

If you are health-conscious and environment-conscious just like us, the predictions can be terrifying. Thankfully, there are actionable ways we can protect our environment and the earth at large. However, we don’t necessarily have to sacrifice our concern for a healthy lifestyle

One way we can help save and protect the environment while meeting the needs for healthy food is by eating more plant-based diets.

This proposition begs the question of what makes a plant-based diet. Plant-based meat, soybeans products, vegetarian products, etc. are just some of the choices for people looking to add more plant-based food to their diet.

Plant-based Diet

Six Ways that Plant-based Diets Can Help the Environment

The impacts that we can leave on the environment by choosing plant-based diets are extensive. Some are more obvious than others.

Lift the Burden on Water Supply

Agriculture takes up about 70% of freshwater use. It makes the agricultural sector the largest water-consuming industry in the world. In this statistic, meat and dairy products are at the forefront of large water consumption.

Water Footprint Network reports about 2,000 gallons of water have been taken to produce just one gallon of milk. This is why plant-based products such as soybeans, oats, almonds, and cashews are recommended substitutes for dairy products.

Therefore, a plant-based recipe as part of your regular diet can help you contribute to the preservation of water, remembering that billions of people don’t have access to clean water.

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Animal agriculture has contributed significantly to global warming. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports livestock production is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The manure produced by livestock is responsible for 37% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Also, manure and its management in factory farms produce large amounts of methane — a gas that warms the earth 20 times faster than carbon dioxide.

Looking at these numbers, you may feel like preparing yourself to say no to meat. On the contrary, you can still satisfy your appetite by picking up the right plant-based meat.

Reduce or Eliminate Dead Zones

The leading cause of pollution and ocean dead zones are mainly from animal agriculture. The wastes from factory farms are usually kept in giant lagoons and applied to crops as fertilizer — untreated. Thousands of toxins contained in such large amounts of manure cannot be absorbed by the soil. In fact, it finds its way into groundwater and then into rivers and oceans, where they end up destroying marine ecosystems due to oxygen depletion. This gives you all the more reason to consider a plant-based diet.

Provide Cleaner Air

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

All these tons of manure that result in dead zones are also responsible for producing ammonia, which is the most potent form of nitrogen, that kills fish, encourages algae growth, and contributes to smog.

Furthermore, the air surrounding factory farms usually contains high levels of hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter, endotoxins, carbon dioxide, and methane.

Reduce Climate Change Impact

Food production contributes up to 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions, with animal products contributing up to three-quarters of these effects.

Future projections show that vegetarian diets were associated with the most considerable reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions. Another research also found that consuming more beans instead of animal products such as beef could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Fortunately, some plant-based diets are available in such a version that works wonders for vegetarians or people who crave meaty satisfaction in plant-based food.

Alleviate Hunger

There are several reports that more than 800 million people across the world lack adequate food. The reason is directly related to the fact that almost two-thirds of all soybeans, maize, barley, and a third of all grains are used to produce animal foods.

The fight to protect our environment is fought on our plates daily, with the food choice we make. By eating more plant-based diets, you can reduce your carbon footprint, eliminate dead zones, breathe cleaner air, and ensure that essential crops are available to feed people instead of livestock.

There are ways we can protect our environment and the earth at large. By making small changes to our daily habits and supporting eco-friendly initiatives, we can all contribute to a healthier and more sustainable planet.

With the abundance of plant-based meat, soybeans, and vegetarian products in Malaysia, it is now easy to eat with the consciousness of helping the environment. That being said, you don’t have to become a vegetarian right away.

What Are Your Options for a Plant-Based Diet?

What Are Your Options for a Plant-Based Diet?

Plant-based diets involve plant-forward patterns of eating to focus on food items primarily from various edible plants. This may include beans, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, oils, seeds, vegetables, and whole grains.

By choosing a plant-based diet, you are proportionately getting the larger portion of your diets from different plant sources. Based on many findings from nutrition research, plant-based foods offer not only environmental benefits but also health benefits.

Diets based on plants contain all the essential carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients which help you maintain an optimal health. These diets support health by increasing longevity and lowering the risk of coronary heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a number of other complications.

The question is how you’re going to approach it. Starting with a plant-based ready meal, especially when you don’t have the time to cook, can be a small step toward considering a plant-based diet, but it can make a difference.

Now that you know how a plant-based diet can help the environment, you may start feeling the need for eating plant-based food which can be overwhelming at the initial stage.

You may look for suggestions before swapping the next meal for a plant-based recipe that is more environmentally friendly. Feel free to get in touch with us.

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