Healthy Diets Can Fight Back Climate Change


Jonathan Coello, staff writer

Who knew that a change in diet could help you improve your health and save the earth?

CNN’s nutrition research has shown that a plant-based diet can make you healthier by lowering your risk for obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and combat climate change.


“For health protection, plant foods are more beneficial than animal food. It is without a doubt that people who follow a plant-based diet have lowest risk for heart disease,” nutritionist Ambika Satija said on CNN.  These diets are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins that are important sources for your daily diet.


Unfortunately, traditional diets are being left behind, and this transition is hurting both the people and the planet.


National Geographic shares statistics that show that animal products generate up to 78% of food-related greenhouse-gas emissions of total agricultural emissions.


Due to manure-related emissions, cows and other animals are not efficient in converting what they eat into body weight.


When a cow digests food, the cow releases methane, which result from livestock and by the decay of organic waste and solid waste landfills.


This could lead to dangerous levels of climate change with a high occurrence of extreme weather events, which can affect the regulatory function of the forecast and biodiversity.


Using Instagram’s poll feature, individuals were asked to vote whether they should change their diet to help combat climate change in the world or argue back that it is a hard risk for them to make.


More than 100 individuals voted, and 52% of individuals voted they would change their diet, while 48% disagreed. Many people are willing to change their diet, but still believe that people can eat protein from animals.



“Animals contain a high amount of protein which is needed for humans, but there are certain animals that produce more methane than other animals,” sophomore Kalen Tussey said. “And that is why I think a Flexitarian diet adapts both sides of the argument.”


A Flexitarian diet is a style of eating that encourages mostly plant-based foods, while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation.


Many people agree they would cut down on meat, but are not willing to change their diet to a complete vegetarian diet.


“If you can’t cut [out] all meats, cut [out] beef because it is the worst one. Eating chicken or poultry doesn’t have an impact as bad as beef [does],” senior Corey Strandberg said.


Due to methane emissions, beef has the most significant impact on the environment. If you cannot cut out meat from your diet, at least cut out beef because it has a negative impact on your diet and the environment.


Nutritionists believe by just eliminating one weekly beef meal can make a positive difference in the society and the environment.


“If our society can adopt to these life changing diets, health would significantly increase and global greenhouse gas emissions will reduce,” LCPS Nutritionist Leigh Anne Critzer said. “These changes are known to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and some cancers,”


If everyone were to follow these recommended diets, it will help to create a healthier earth and a healthier lifestyle.