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Want to Eat Sustainably? A Dietitian Tells You How | You Versus Food | Well+Good


♪ We love the Earth it is our planet ♪ (upbeat music) Hi, I’m Tracy Lockwood Beckerman. I’m a registered
dietitian in New York City and it’s my job to help you figure out what to eat and why. Well the climate crisis has been a topic of concern for quite some time. We hope that the chatter isn’t
slowing down any time soon. We’re finally waking up to the fact that every aspect of our lives, from what we wear to how we commute to what we consume impacts
the health of our planet. There are a lot of things we could do to address the serious
reality of what’s going on. But today we’re gonna talk about just one piece of the puzzle. You guessed it, how what we eat impacts the health of our planet. As the population grows
and we continue to eat classically Western diets, aka more meat and processed foods, we are
met with a scary reality. The production of these foods
is putting massive amounts of pressure on our home planet, to the pesticides,
packaging, transportation, carbon emissions, and so much more. Okay, but seriously, in
2019, according to the IPCC at the U.N., food
production is responsible for up to 37% of all carbon emissions. Whoa, that is a whole lot of
greenhouse gasses to offset. Sadly, as a result, the environment may not be able to keep
up with the demands without some very noticeable effects. You know, like the massive
global deforestation and polluted runoff killing
our beautiful reefs. Yes, the global food
system holds a lot of power to impact pollution,
ecosystems, water, and more. This information is nothing new, but has gotten many of us wondering. What can we do to help? Someone call Gretta. The conventional livestock
industry has a massive negative environmental impact affecting air, water, and land. All the animal products
produced are to blame for the highest amount of
total agricultural emission, up to 78%. In fact, cows require immensely more feed, water, and land than plants. And beef is more than 100 times more emission-intensive than legumes. The IPCC also reported that if we, like me and you, incorporated
more plants into our diet, we could reduce the equivalent
of up to eight gigatons of carbon dioxide per year. So is it time to swap your beef patty for a sweet potato and lentil beet patty? Sure, but this doesn’t
mean you need to cut out all animal products forever,
if that’s not your jam. The 2015 Dietary Guideline
Advisory Committee recommend that going
plant-based would help both our physical health and improve long-term sustainability
of the U.S. food supply. Plus, with the world population expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, it seems like we need to make some changes stat. For example, try incorporating
more pulses into your diet. Pulses like peas, beans,
chickpeas, and lentils are inexpensive, high
in protein and fiber, and environmentally friendly, too. Go flexitarian. No flex zone, more like go flex zone. Going flexitarian is
the ultimate compromise between your normal eating habits and the planet’s needs. Though predominantly plant-based, this type of eating has the ability to jump around between food groups, all with the hope of
getting a wide variety of nutrients from different foods. I’m bringing flexi back, whoa! Try meatless meals or Mondays. If you’re not looking to give up meat, try going meatless for one day a week or for just one meal a day. It may seem insignificant,
but every dietary change helps move the needle
towards a healthier planet and a healthier you. If you do eat meat, make
sure to look for brands that are making an effort to go grassfed, humane, and USDA organic, and bonus points if it’s coming from a local purveyor. But wait, there’s more. Eating local by shopping
the farmer’s market has a ton of benefits, both for the environment
and your community. It supports local farmers
and the local economy and has you eating more
nutrient-rich foods. It also reduces the need to transport foods from wide distances. This lessens air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels, ultimately minimizing
greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Rogers was right. Seems it’s a beautiful
day in the neighborhood. So grab your favorite
reusable bag and get going. I totally love my
farmer’s market mornings. Compost, compost, compost. In simple terms, composting
is nature’s way of recycling. Putting your food scraps
back into the ground is super helpful for the environment. This form of waste disposal
helps repurpose oxygen into the soil so bacteria, fungi, and other organisms can survive. It can help minimize
landfill by reducing waste and helps to conserve resources
and minimize pollution. Turns out life in plastic
isn’t so fantastic. Tracy Tip, many neighborhoods have their own compost programs. So do your research and find somewhere you can put your old banana peels today. Shop mindfully. A big component of eating for the planet is being conscious about buying brands that are doing their part to operate as sustainably as possible. Think ethical farming
practices, minimal packaging, and production that cuts back on waste. While we still have a long way to go in terms of food production,
here are a few brands that are getting A+ for effort in my book. Oatly is a great
environmentally conscious swap. That’s because oats need
less land and less water to produce than dairy or almonds. So it’s a great choice
when opting for a alt-milk. ZENB is a cool new brand on the scene. Their new veggie bites
use the whole vegetable, really, like the whole thing, from the core to the peel
to the seeds to the stem. They make it easy to get a cup of veggies with more nutrients and all the fiber. And their unique approach to eating whole plant-based eating is
taking some serious steps to promote food waste reduction. JUST vegan eggs are an excellent
choice for the environment because they use mung beans
instead of chicken eggs. Sounds like a great low-carb
and footprint option to me. Alter Eco is a chocolate
company that invests in farmers, makes an effort to
choose clean ingredients, is fair trade, and
works to eliminate waste in their production process. As an added bonus, their
chocolate is the bomb.com. Engine 2 produces whole minimally-processed plant-based foods. That means their products, pasta sauces, granolas, ravioli, and more, are perfect for when you wanna limit
your animal products and added oil intake. All in all, there is a ton of research that backs up the environmental impact of choosing more plants and
fewer animal-based products. Top that off with sourcing
your food mindfully and you’re absolutely on the right track. These choices and swaps may seem small, but if we all make them together, they add up to a larger impact that’s greatly needed for Mother Earth. Thanks for watching this
episode of You versus Food. Want more tips and tricks
for what to eat and why? Subscribe to Well +
Good’s YouTube channel. Don’t be a fossil, fool, subscribe to Well + Good’s
YouTube channel today. Bless you.
– Thank you. – Carbon emissions, I’m kidding (laughs).

5 thoughts on “Want to Eat Sustainably? A Dietitian Tells You How | You Versus Food | Well+Good

  1. “The health of our planet” isn’t totally accurate. “The stability of our climate” would be more accurate. Though the health of our planet’s ecosystems are admittedly dependent on that stability.

  2. Stop stroking meat eaters egos.We absolutely NEED to go vegan to save the enviroment and i notice how you changed the wording when talking about the scientific data🙄 it doesnt help to say you dont need to go vegan to save the enviroment because you DO.If youre not vegan youre not an enviromentalist and simply not practicing what you preach.simple as that

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