PLANT BASED AND THE ENVIRONMENT
If you've logged on to Netflix lately, then you’ve probably noticed a new movie called The Game Changers. It's a documentary that discusses why going vegan is the best choice for everyone. It's generating a lot of buzz, and we've seen articles about it all around the internet.
Even though we aren't affiliated with the movie, we couldn't be more excited!
Why? Because we firmly believe that living a plant-based lifestyle is the best choice for our health and our environment.
When you eat plant-based foods that are organic and sustainable, you are not only doing the best you can to improve your life, but you're also improving the earth. Even if you don't eat aplant-based diet all the time, making more plant-based dietary choices is a great idea.
We know many of you are either considering switching to a plant-based diet full time or interested in learning about why plant-based foods are better overall. So, we thought it'd be helpful to explain why we believe that plant-based foods are the best for everyone.
Let's start with some basics.
Our food production system is broken.
There is, quite literally, a global crisis concerning feeding humans around the world. Our current diet (read: animal-centric) is simply not sustainable.
The fact is, the human population on earth is exceeding the resources available to feed it.
According to the World Resources Report, there will be 9.8 billion people on the planet in 2050. As a result, food demand is projected to increase by over 50 percent. And since most people in the world eat animal products, the need for animal-based food will increase by almost 70 percent.
The Food Climate Network states it bluntly. Our "food system today is unsustainable."
Not only do we depend on an unsustainable model, but it also doesn’t do its job. Millions and millions of people are going hungry right now.
Fifty percent of the grains and legumes produced today are going to feed livestock. In fact, an area of land roughly 20% of the entire land-base of Europe is being used right now to grow soybeans…just for livestock!
And to make matters worse. This land is not good for the environment. Here are a few facts:
• Almost half of all vegetated land and land-related to agricultural products produce 25% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
• In order to produce a single ¼ pound hamburger patty, farmers must use 660 gallons of fresh water.
• An acre of the rainforest disappears every single second because of animal grazing.
Feeding animals grains goes against everything that nature intended. Grain-fed meat is negatively impacting our climate and is pushing farmers into a factory mentality.
This factory mentality is what has led to a whole host of problems that will affect us in big ways very soon. Here is just one example: widespread soil depletion.
The soil in America is not the same as it was a few hundred years ago. In fact, since the American Revolution, it has lost half of its fertility or organic matter. Depleting our earth of its nutrients means that we will eventually be unable to grow plants for anyone – human or animal.
(In addition to soil depletion, factory farms also deplete the ground of water and genetically modify crops!)
And here's the kicker: there's nowhere else to go. Those stats about soil depletion? That is all across America. We can't simply pack up and move on as our ancestors did. There is no more room for us. There is no more nutrient-dense soil to fall back on. We are at capacity.
Sounds pretty depressing, huh?
Well, there is good news!
We can take steps to fix our soil. We can save water. We can eat natural foods.
The key is to make a commitment to sustainability.
And how can we eat sustainably?
By eating more plant-based foods!
One of the most significant changes we can make for the environment is to change what is on our plate.
You may think that this may not be much. After all, how can eating beans instead of meat one meal a week make a difference?
Well, if each of us makes that commitment, then that means millions of us are eschewing grain-fed meat and its unsustainable model. That can make a big difference!
And there's more good news, we know that lots of you want to make this change. In fact, 77% of Americans want to start eating more sustainably. If we all ate plant-based foods, we would save thousands of gallons of water and pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every single day.
So, the question is now: how do we do this? What does this change look like practically?
Well, the first thing to do is to change your mindset. Start thinking about how animals get their food. And then eat those foods! Cut out the middle man and eat what they eat. You'll get the nutrients you normally get from meat, directly from the source!
Next, you can support your local, organic farmers by shopping at farmer's markets or buying directly from their farms. You'll ensure that your food is fresh and grown with love while also supporting your local economy.
Finally, try to eat as many whole foods as possible. Ignore the processed foods section of the grocery store. Encourage your kids to snack on veggies and fruits. Prepare your meals at home. This will give you control over the ingredients and ensure you are eating the healthiest meal possible.
It's easy to get overwhelmed with how dire our food production situation is. We live in a broken system. But it doesn't have to be that way. We can make a difference.
Change doesn't happen overnight, but it will happen.
And remember, eating plant-based foods isn't just great for the environment. It also improves your health and will help you feel better! You'll make fewer trips to the doctor and spend more time doing the things you love.
So, start today. Make a small change. And then build on it tomorrow. And then add a little more the next day. Before you know it, that small change will be a game-changer.
We're here to help! Click here to browse our plant-based sports nutrition products. They'll help you get started on your plant-based journey.