Plant-based diet vs climate change pushed
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - July 14, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos are being urged to help fight climate change by switching to a plant-based diet, which has been shown to reduce the ecological footprint of human food consumption.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its attached agency Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), has launched a month-long public information campaign to encourage every one to consume more fruits.

The campaign, which coincides with the celebration of July as Nutrition Month, urged Filipinos to follow the recommendations of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute regarding the proportions of the three main food groups – go, grow and glow – that should be taken every meal.

“Shifting to plant-based diet is one way to reduce the environmental impact of one’s food consumption. It does not only benefits one’s health, but also helps protect the environment due to the smaller environmental footprints that plant-based diets tend to have,” EMB director William Cuñado said.

A 2013 study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization showed that meat and dairy, particularly from cows, account for around 14.5 percent of the global greenhouse gases each year.

The figure is roughly equivalent to the global amount of gas emitted by all cars, trucks, airplanes and ships combined.

A recent study by the University of Oxford suggested that cutting meat and dairy products from a person’s diet could reduce his carbon footprint from food by up to 73 percent.

Cuñado said a plant-based diet could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and land use for factory farming, which are factors in global warming and environmental degradation.

The month-long campaign is being conducted virtually or online due to the restrictions brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

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