Save the planet, eat less meat

Today, the biggest source of protein intake in the Western diet (mainly Europe and the USA) is meat, leaving behind vegetable proteins with their nutritional benefits. The problem with consuming animal protein is that it has serious consequence for both us and the environment we live in. If we want to continue to enjoy our beautiful planet in the future, we seriously need to rethink our diet and balance our sources of protein.

 

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Our excess consumption of meat does not only impact on our health but it serious impacts on the health of our planet. The fact is that farming is responsible for approximately 14.5% of the production of greenhouse gases (mainly contributing for 18% of climate change) which is way more than the impact of transportation. For example, producing 1 kg of beef protein nearly requires the equivalent of 300 kg of C02. Try to remember this next time you order a T-bone steak. Farming is also responsible for 80% of the destruction of the Amazon forest. Why? Because our dear ruminants need more space and food than you think in order to grow well and make juicy steaks. 70% of the agricultural lands in the world are devoted to livestock. Can you imagine how many hectares does this represent? And last but not least, livestock (and more specifically the emanations that it generates) is one of the main causes of pollution and water waste.

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Now let’s talk about the health side of things. If a meat overdose is dangerous for our planet, don’t you think it is also bad for your health? Overconsumption of meat, particularly red meat and poultry based snacks like breaded chicken or chicken nuggets, can cause cancer, in addition to being nutritionally deficient. Furthermore, farming is a haven for diseases that can be transmitted to humans, such as avian influenza or the mad cow disease. It is also known that farmers tend to use antibiotics on their animals. The overuse of such drugs increases the risk of emergence of resisting bacterial strain, causing serious health hazards. Is there a solution to overcome this? What can we do to limit the damage caused by livestock and overconsumption of meat? Well, maybe we should eat it less often. Of course, no one is asking you to completely ban it from your grocery list, but limiting your consumption could be enough. The answer is maybe, to simply introduce some weekly meat free days or meals to your eating habits. Do not worry about this affecting the nutritional balance of your meals. You can eat well and suffer from any nutritional deficiencies without including meat in your meals. There is a vast array of vegetable proteins available for you to choose between, including: grains (quinoa, bulgur, barley, wheat…), pulses (lentils, chickpeas, beans…), oilseeds (soybeans, almonds, nuts …) and vegetables (lettuce, tomato, cucumber…). If you make sure to combine all the food groups, your daily amount of protein intake will be reached and your stomach will stay satiated for longer.

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There are many recipes available for tasty and fulfilling vegetarian or vegan meals. Click here to discover our quinoa based recipes. Did you know that in Africa, Latin America and some Asian countries, people’s health habits are based on more vegetarian diets than you think? And yet, some of them live way longer than us Westerners do. Plus, eating less meat is good for your piggy bank, in addition to being good for you and the planet too! It’s safe to say that eating more vegetables and less meat is a real commitment to a more sustainable and eco-responsible way of living. So what are you waiting for? Get started as soon as you can.