Until now, the world of nutrition has revolved around researching the perfect diet to improve human health, without stopping to think that if our planet is not healthy, we never will be.
Over the past 250 years we have released more than 1.4 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, which is leading the Earth to an unprecedented environmental catastrophe. Time is running and experts warn that we are in time to stop climate change and avoid the end of humanity as we know it, but we must change our lifestyle and diet now.
Our diet and the way we produce food have a direct impact on the deterioration of our planet. For this reason, it is urgent to start the “food transition”, since we are very far from what we should produce, buy and eat. There is another way to feed ourselves to save our planet and take care of our health. Today, one in nine people in the world is undernourished, 815 million people, while some 2 billion people are overweight and overweight children, specifically those under the age of 5, are around 40 million children. An imbalance that increases every year and that invites us to ask ourselves: How should we all eat for a sustainable environmental future and feed the 10 billion people who will inhabit the earth in 2050 (we are now about 7.5 billion)?
There is a scientific consensus about what actions we can take in nutrition education programs to “feed” change from childhood, since changing the diet of the world population is complicated but possible and necessary.
Diet changes to make it sustainable
1. Reduce meat consumption, especially red meat. The carbon footprint of animal production accounts for more than half of greenhouse gases.
2. Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
3. Increase (double worldwide) the consumption of pulses. We should take 3-4 servings per week. To produce 1 kg of lentils 1250 liters of water are needed, for 1 kg of beef 15000 liters; for 1kg of chicken, 4325 liters and for one kilogram of lamb, 5525 liters. Legumes, in addition, increase soil fertility and productivity.
4. Buy “naked” food, without unnecessary and superfluous packaging.
5. Go with your reusable bag to buy.
6. Buy local and seasonal food whenever you can. Thus the fruit will be at its ripening point, it will not undergo unnecessary contaminating transport and will promote the local economy. It is essential to buy fish and seafood in its time to respect its life cycle.
7. Increase the consumption of nuts.
8. Drastically reduce the consumption of sugars.
9. Cook and heat food efficiently, the microwave is a good option as well as the ultra-fast pot, while the oven should be used sparingly.
10. Reuse food scraps to make other recipes, reduce the amount of food that is wasted through a good organization of the weekly purchase.
10. Avoid ultra-processed, overweight breeding ground, obesity, diseases such as cancer, with an excessive ecological footprint and with a lot of waste due to its excessive packaging.
Legumes, the key to the future
Legumes are undoubtedly the key to the future of food, they are healthy as well as sustainable, they promote health and they are suitable for the vast majority of the population, let’s see why:
– They are an essential source of vegetable protein.
– Rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
– Low fat content (except healthy soy and peanut fat).
-Help control weight and body fat and provide satiety.
– They reduce cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.
– They have a low glycemic index and are effective in preventing and treating diabetes.
– They strengthen intestinal health and the immune system.
– They decrease the risk of cancer.
– They are gluten free and are a basic food for celiac people. .