Eat natural foods with the Planetary Health Diet: A concept for the health of the planet and all humans

The Planetary Health Diet shows how nearly 2050 billion people can eat natural foods that are healthy as well as sustainable by 10

plant based

The Planetary Health Diet is a nutrition concept of the EAT Lancet Commission, through which almost 2050 billion people can eat sustainably and healthily by 10. In addition, the diet does no harm to the planet. In addition to human health, the Planetary Health Diet focuses on the future of our earth. This is because nutrition is the most important engine for optimizing health and environmental sustainability. If we do not change our eating habits, we leave subsequent generations a planet that is marked by malnutrition and avoidable diseases.

Planetary health diet

Source: The EAT-Lancet Commission

Who eats natural foods and chooses a sustainable nutrition, strengthens their health and the environment

It is one of the most important challenges of our time to create a sustainable and healthy food system for the constantly growing world population. The system is currently characterized by strong inequalities - while more than 820 million people suffer from malnutrition, consumption is increasing steadily, especially in the western world. A large proportion of the products that are consumed daily are demonstrably unhealthy and therefore dangerous. Unhealthy eating carries a higher risk of death than alcohol, tobacco and drug use combined.

Global food production threatens climate stability, the resilience of ecosystems and the lives of countless people. It affects the environment along the entire supply chain - from production to retail sales. To protect them, there must be a radical transformation of the system.

The Planetary Health Diet - a concrete plan to eat natural foods for the future

The EAT Lancet Commission has taken on this task and dealt with the areas of health, agriculture, political science and environmental sustainability in order to make food production more sustainable. In this process, scientists of various teaching researched solutions that relate to society, economy and culture as well as to humans, animals and the environment.

The Planetary Health Diet is the result of this scientific knowledge and thus represents the cornerstone of the required radical system change. The concept can optimize the food industry and the associated health of 10 billion people by 2050.

A healthy diet promotes human health not only in the sense of absence from illness. It also leads to an increase in holistic well-being and thus a state of physical, mental and social balance. For optimal nutrition, you should avoid unsaturated fatty acids, refined grains, sugar and heavily processed dishes. Instead, focus on optimal calorie intake and a variety of plant foods. Or in short: Eat natural foods.

In addition to adjusting or changing the diet, each individual can support the system change with concrete measures that can be found in the Planetary Health Diet.

The top 5 strategies of the Planetary Health Diet

1. Availability and transparency

The consumption of plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, etc.) is preferable to animal-based foods. For this purpose, it is recommended to limit the consumption of meat products in particular. For food producers, this means an increase in the production of plant and healthy foods. Instead of unhealthy alternatives, these must be accessible, available and affordable. Health information and sustainability education should also be available to everyone.

2. Quality instead of quantity

A new agricultural priority is to produce high quality food instead of large quantities. It is not only allowed to produce high-calorie foods in order to satisfy the constantly growing world population. It is more important to produce various foods that promote health and support environmental sustainability. In addition, there must be a realignment of agricultural and maritime policies towards the use of a variety of nutritious foods to increase biodiversity. At the moment the focus is far too much on increasing the amount of less selected cereals.

3. Sustainable food production

Currently, there is a need for an agricultural revolution that is driven by sustainability, its intensification and system innovation. This would result in radical improvements in the efficiency of fertilizer and water consumption, recycling of phosphorus, redistribution of global consumption of phosphorus and nitrogen, climate protection measures and increased biodiversity in agricultural crops. It is important to drastically minimize CO2 emissions while still enabling all people to eat natural foods.

4. Protection of nature, biodiversity and oceans

Food should only be obtained from agricultural areas that already exist. This means implementing a zero expansion policy for new areas in natural ecosystems and species-rich forests. To this end, new management strategies are to restore degraded areas and reforest them in order to keep the remaining biodiversity intact. In addition, the world's oceans must be protected so that fishing does not have a negative impact on ecosystems and resources are used responsibly and sustainably.

5. Reduce food waste

A development goal is to reduce the loss and waste of food by 50%. This means reducing food losses on the production side and wasting food on the consumer side - at a global level. To implement this, technological solutions along the food supply chain as well as public guidelines that limit food waste are required. These solutions and guidelines relate, for example, to the improvement of the infrastructure after the harvest, improved cooperation along the supply chain as well as training of the manufacturers and education of the consumers.

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