Eating plants not only saves lives and improves health, but also the environment too.
Food systems are a major component of health and environmental sustainability. To produce food for human consumption resources must be utilised. Unfortunately, not all resources are accessibly infinite, one of these being water. For example, between 2001 and 2009, Australia faced a fierce drought known as the “Millennium Drought.” The tragedy can be described as the worst drought on record for southeast Australia. To put the food element into perspective on water usage in Australia, it takes roughly 15,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of beef. However, only 2,500 litres of water is required to produce 1kg of lentils or tofu, and for a healthy meal roughly the same amount of weight of food is eaten per serving. Likewise, 1kg of chickpeas needs approximately 1,300 litres of water.
The Agriculture industry is responsible for 65% of total used water in Australia and 70% of total used water globally, making it the leading consumer of this resource. Forests account for 30% of land worldwide and each year an estimated 38,300 square km is lost to deforestation. At a first read it can quite often seem too big to be true, but sadly not. It’s an equivalent size of Switzerland, and if things continue as they currently are, it is estimated the worlds rainforests will be entirely cleared within the next 100 years.
Right now there is a global environmental crisis. Though we aren’t helpless, through initiative-based practices, such as, recognising and reducing our individual carbon footprint – the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by an individual – we can leave a more environmentally positive impact on the planet than we currently are, and it is something that is being shown to have increasing importance as new research is coming out.
Moreover, evidence suggests that diets high in red meat increase a person’s chance of cancer and cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular disease is the leading contributor to all Australian and global deaths. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia too, and Type 2 diabetes accounts for 85% of total diabetes cases. T2D is the only form of diabetes that can be developed through lifestyle other than gestational diabetes, which is diabetes developed in pregnancy. Diabetes also happens to be the leading cause of preventable blindness in Australia and people with diabetes are between two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who don’t have diabetes. There’s been a lot of research in this area and one thing that has proven to be of positive help in reducing the likelihood of, and dealing with symptoms of T2D, are healthy, unrefined plant-based foods that have none or limited added sugar and saturated fats. There is also a strong importance placed on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes specifically.
We are not suggesting that by adopting a, or a more, plant-based diet is the only way to combat these issues we’re currently facing in terms of health and the environment, but it is a strong and effective way to counter a lot of these issues effectively that is backed by a lot of research.
If we want to look at the ethics side to it, which is very uncomfortable for a lot of people, and was for me too when I started to shift my eating, it all comes down to personal feeling, and honesty with the feeling. We are of the belief that if us, as a balanced individual, would struggle with the internal capacity it takes to put an animal through the suffering and experience it took to make it to our plate for us to eat, and there is a genuine alternative that can sustain good health, then this is the option we should choose. If we really tap into it, we aren’t the only living conscious things on the planet that feel and deserve a proper life.
All our food is made with the strong commitment to remove as many negatively impactful things as possible and still be left with a tasty, wholesome, nutritious and affordable option. We have abolished plastic and only use compostable packaging, other than recycled aluminium for our burritos which we are looking to update when a suitable option comes out. If this is of interest to you, or you would love to support us, the best way you can do so is buy purchasing our food. When choosing to eat with Compassioneat, you’re supporting our way of life by helping yours.