beim-Fruehstueck-die-Welt-retten - Eine Frau löffelt Müsli und Früchte aus einer Schale, daneben steht ein pinker Smoothie.  - © Shutterstock

Saving the world at breakfast

Save the planet and improve your health at the same time, just by eating certain foods – sounds unbelievable, right? Not with plant-based products! Come and join us on our journey as we enter a “greener” world...

There you are, enjoying a totally normal breakfast: granola with all the colorful trimmings, a glorious-smelling coffee... You’re flicking through the newspaper, reading about terrible droughts in the south of the planet; about catastrophic floods in Asia. About the many millions of people across the globe who are suffering from malnutrition or the modern lifestyle diseases that have become the scourge of our society. You take a sip of coffee – and all of a sudden, you ask yourself a question: Could a couple of simple changes at breakfast time save our planet?

Our diet – our planet

As absurd as this question might sound, one thing points to a resounding “yes!”: A study published in prestigious medical journal “The Lancet” in 2019, on planetary health food, scrutinized the connection between our diet, climate protection and human health. Its core message: that we change our eating habits dramatically if we want to take climate protection seriously – in fact, it’s imperative. At first glance, the connection between diet and climate looks pretty simple: A rapidly growing global population involves a rapidly growing demand for food. Already 40 % of the global land surface is required for food manufacture. However, this area doesn’t have to be expanded and exploited at the expense of sustainability – it just needs to be better utilized, so that soya, for example, is processed directly instead of being used as animal feed. According to this team of researchers, then, the solution lies on our table: because as far as CO2 emissions and water consumption are concerned, plant foods are way better than their animal counterparts, as you can read in more detail in this article.

More plants for greater wellbeing

So what should our diet be, going by the findings of this study? Well, double the consumption of fruit, veg, nuts and legumes across the planet, with a dramatic decrease in animal products. Europeans are encouraged to consume 77 % less animal protein than before, to be replaced with tofu, legumes, whole grains and nuts to cover our protein requirements. This kills two birds with one stone: it’s better for our health – and our planet’s. The scientists estimate that implementing these measures could prevent around 20 % of premature deaths.

Vegetable cuisine: healthy, good for the climate – and delicious!

A plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to compromise on culinary enjoyment: the right plant foods open the door to a wonderfully creative and diverse meal plan. In fact, many of our most delicious flavorings were plants to begin with: just think of fresh basil, aromatic olive oil, a ripe apple or that lovely coffee aroma. So, to circle back to breakfast: of course you can’t save the planet with plant milk in your muesli and coffee alone... But there’s always lunch and dinner too! ;)