Save The Planet with the Carbon Diet

Written by Kajsa IngelssonMarch 3, 2020

Have you ever asked yourself; what’s the best way to eat for me, the animals and our planet?

If you are anything like me, the answer to this question is likely a yes. You know me, I am a doer, so I went searching high and low for an answer. Here’s what I came up with;

First of all, we need to admit the fact that the environmental impact of animal food products is so great that even small steps can make a big difference, especially if enacted on a wide scale.

Secondly, we need to acknowledge that not everyone is going to go completely vegan. This is ok (so let’s stop the shaming). For many, reducing meat is more realistic than veganism. It’s all about moving towards reducing the consumption of animal products. We have more to gain if, say, 90% of people begin eating more vegan meals vs. a small number of people becoming fully vegan.

It’s worth adding that it’s healthier for both you and our planet if instead of replacing one meat with another (like beef for chicken) but still eating meat every single day, you start only eating meat two or three times a week.

Here’s another undeniable fact; Factory farming of animals is bad for you, for them, and for the planet.

If you choose to eat meat and dairy, choose regeneratively raised animals. This type of farming can not only prevent the environmental and climate harm of factory-farmed animals but actually restore ecosystems and reverse climate change. They do so by improving soils while sucking carbon from the atmosphere and increasing water storage in soils. Furthermore, it also increases biodiversity of the soil, which is critical for human survival and can be employed on lands unsuitable for other agriculture. 

Now I know what you’re probably thinking; this kind of sustainable meat is A LOT more expensive than the “regular” one. Well, yes, the prices tend to be higher, you are right. But while that farmer’s market chicken is more expensive, but it’s also both higher quality meat and better for the environment.

Also, if the rest of your diet is plant-based, chances are that you are saving quite a bit of money since vegan staples such as tofu, lentils, beans, and grains are reliably lower-priced than meat. This means that you probably can then afford higher-quality meat — especially since you are not eating meat three times a day. 

There are also some changes you can make to your diet that don’t have anything to do with meat. In 2007, restaurant company Bon Appetit Management Company launched a Low Carbon Diet program to reduce the food service sector’s contribution to climate change. Their “five staples of a low-carbon diet” are: 1) don’t waste food; 2) make “seasonal and regional” your food mantra; 3) move away from beef and cheese; 4) don’t buy air-freighted food; and 5) if it’s processed and packaged, skip it.

So there you have it; whole foods cooked at home, sustainable and regenerative farmed, will save both us and our planet. You can change now, or be forced to later as the effects of climate change start to impact our everyday lives.

We have not just an opportunity, but a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint. The easiest way to start must be that three times a day, you can make an impact, just by choosing one food versus another.