Back in May I investigated applying biomimicry for a climate change solution. Last week I read the UN released a special report describing how plant-based diets represent a major opportunity for moderating and adjusting to climate change. The current market value of plant-based foods indicate people are slowly adapting.
The shift away from animal-based foods is good for the Earth’s health as it relates to reducing greenhouse emissions, as well as facilitating the opening to efficiently use water and energy. More importantly, observing a plant-based diet has numerous human health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases (e.g., heart, certain cancers, diabetes, etc.), plus obesity. Consequently, plant-based foods are achieving mainstream acceptance with more consumers (a.k.a. flexitarians) trying to eat less meat. By the numbers, U.S. retail sales have grown 11 percent in the past year, bringing the total plant-based market value to $4.5 billion (source: GFI & PBFA).
The UN Youth Climate Summit will take place September 21st in New York. It will provide a platform for leaders driving climate action to discuss their solutions, including changes to the human diet. Note: The United Nation’s projects by 2050 the world population will astounding be approximately 9.7 billion. Because I am a food futurist, I hope the young leaders will open dialogue about other potential food resources that could be beneficial to the Earth’s health. Specifically, encouraging consumers to eat more sea vegetables, a topic I will be addressing in detail later this month.
Sea vegetables are potentially an unlimited source of food for the growing world population-unless humans screw up this food source by inflicting greater pollution into our oceans. The negative environmental impact of feeding and caring for cows/pigs/chickens/etc will force humans to look for alternative food sources. Hopefully, the oceans will be one of those sources because what comes out of the sea is much more natural /healthy than Impossible Burger and it’s competitors products- regardless of the current hype around those brands.