Many of us enjoy a good burger once in a while, but that traditional American meal comes with a very high climate price tag. It's estimated that livestock produces at least 15% of global greenhouse gases. Wow!!! We find that shocking. If that doesn’t get your attention, here’s another mind-blowing fact.
If all the cattle in the world were gathered together to make a nation, they would be the third highest emitter of greenhouse gases only behind the United States and China.
As you can see from these statistics, it's imperative that we start eating a diet higher in plants and choosing proteins that are lower on the food chain.
In 2016 The University of Oxford published a study that addressed the positive environmental and health impacts of a vegetarian diet. They estimated that greenhouse emissions could be reduced by 63%, and millions of lives would be saved, if everyone switched to a plant based diet. Once again what is good for the environment is good for humans.
The USDA reported that the average person in the United States consumed a little over 222 pounds of meat and poultry in 2018. That’s a lot of protein, that our bodies don't need. The good news is approximately one third of the U.S. population is trying to eat less meat and more fruits and vegetables. Here are some tips to help with that transition.
Start slowly. Think of your favorite meals that are already plant-based such as pasta primavera and try adding them to your menu more often.
Wherever you are on this meatless journey, use that as your baseline. If you eat meat every day, then think about eating it every other day. You eat beef very rarely. How about cutting it out altogether?
Reduce the portions of meat at your meals and increase the vegetable servings. After you have accomplished that goal, then consider ordering portobello mushroom burger instead of a traditional one made of beef.
Start your day with a vegetarian breakfast. How about a fruit smoothie or a delicious bowl of oatmeal.
Make sure you have plenty of healthy food in your home, so you are not tempted to run out and pick up a burger.
Try new foods, so you do not get bored with your usuals. Have you ever cooked with tofu? Maybe now is the time to try it.
Changing to a plant based diet could quite possibly be the most important change an individual can make to help reverse global warming. Now isn't that empowering and inspiring?!