In a world where the burgeoning population demands ever more food and water, increasing food production is having adverse environmental impacts, a different way of eating might be the best idea.
Believe it or not, the average UK person gets through around 175lbs of meat annually, something those promoting the Livewell diet would bring down to around 25lbs, making scarce natural resources go much further.
Researchers now claim that altering our eating habits quite dramatically could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% , becoming much healthier into the bargain. Aberdeen university researchers have produced a ideal diet report about balancing healthy eating with foods which are more sustainable.
Dubbed the Livewell Plate, they have created not just a proper shopping list but also a suggested menu to make UK eating greener, wanting to get lobbying both food producers and the government to use the Livewell philosophy.
Designed to be composed of things we all know well, yet moving right away from both meat and processed foods and meat, to combat rising levels of heart disease and diabetes.
Meat consumption, worldwide, is a key environmental issue, America alone devoting seven tenths of agricultural land to livestock foodstuffs. Since huge amounts of water resources are also needed, the reasons for the clearance of large amounts of rain forest become clearer.
Pesticides and fertilisers in large volumes end up in waterways. The Livewell plate diet aims to reduce meat consumption, though the overall aim is the streamlining and simplification of choice for consumers, increasingly baffled by the minefield that eco-conscious shopping has become.
Many people simply feel overwhelmed by information over what to buy, labels endlessly confusing for shoppers with too little time to make informed choices. Livewell researchers kept the diet simple, taking full account of proper nutrition, fully considering environmental concerns and keeping the price down at just under £29 per person per week.
The simple message is that eating a little less meat and dairy, and bulking out the diet with more vegetables and whole grains can give ou all that you need. There is little doubt that food production as it now stands is helping pollute the planet and add to greenhouse gases.
By 2050, nearly 9billion humans will need feeding, and where wars were once about oil, fights over water and farmland will increase dramatically, so sustainable eating will be the most sensible way forward, if only it can be generally accepted and adopted.
However, exploding Asian economies like China are seeing where beef consumption accelerating, simply because meat-eating is a status symbol. While we in the west can see the writing on the wall, others may choose to ignore it.