Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Researchers predict that due to population growth and changing consumption patterns, food emissions alone could putthe world over the 1.5-degree limit within the next 40 years.
A New Diet? A previous report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) showed that not only does food production contribute to rising temperatures, but the conversion of pristine native habitats into agricultural systems is the most important direct driver of biodiversity loss. WWF found that a global shift toward more sustainable (or “planet-based”) diets and eating patterns could have widespread benefits for the environment, human health, and the global economy. Brent Loken, the global lead food scientist for WWF, says that without serious changes to human diet patterns, food emissions will double by 2050.
Additionally, Jason Hill, senior author of the new report and a professor at the University of Minnesota, said that his team hadn’t necessarily considered massive global shifts toward diets like veganism. “We wanted to present the ones that were realistic goals,” he said. “A plant-rich diet is a realistic goal. We’re not saying in this paper to hit these targets we have to give up animal products. But there need to be some dietary shifts toward the healthier diets.”
A Team Effort: Michael Clark, a researcher at the University of Oxford the lead author of the new research, is optimistic that changes can be made in time to reach the tight deadlines of the Paris Agreement. He and others are exploring what kind of policies can be introduced to shift behaviors and markets toward sustainable food production. “Maybe it’s a combination of nudges at grocery stores, and top-down policies from governments,” said Dr. Clark. “It could be very bureaucratic or individualistic.”
WWF previously assessed 75 countries and found that none of them have National Dietary Guidelines (NDGs) that meet the organization’s sustainability goals. Loken believes that updating NDGs can guide crucial agricultural and commercial policy that could lead to a healthier environment and population. Loken suggests that countries can update their NDGs from international guidelines. For example, one report by the EAT-Lancet Commission, an international group of scientists, recommended a 50% reduction in global consumption of red meat by 2050.
Researchers all agree that action must come from every sector, and it must happen fast to avoid devastating consequences. “There are so many different ways we can do this,” said Dr. Clark. “Every person has a role to play, every corporation as well. Through collective action and political will we can actually do this pretty rapidly.”
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Today, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released its 2021 Plowprint Report, which tracks the amount of grasslands lost to plow-up each year. This year’s study found that plow-up across the Great Plains has only continued to accelerate, releasing exorbitant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. The report concludes that […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer With global temperatures rising and rainfall patterns changing, global agriculture is shifting too — with big changes projected. Places like Siberia and northern Canada that have been too frigid for farming in centuries past are expected to become cropland by the end of the century. But it’s not a […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer The National Park Service has closed down a large swathe of Alaska’s Denali National Park after excessive permafrost thawing caused landslide activity near the park’s only access road. The access road is now closed, blocking entry to about half of the park. Park officials say that although there have been landslides in […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.