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Plant-Based Foods: A Climate Solution We Need To Be Talking About

There is so much that we can do simply by choosing foods that are planet-friendly in order to make an impact on our environment. Eating meat at every single meal is like driving a gas-guzzling car around town everyday. Our food system accounts for 30% of total global emissions and impacts deforestation, land use, and biodiveristy loss. Adopting plant-based foods is a powerful way to reduce food systems emissions and make an impact on our planet.

What we choose to eat everyday is an individual decision, there are systemic factors that impact those decisions. For example, food cost and food availability are heavily influenced by industry lobbying. Between 2000 and 2019, U.S. meat and dairy companies spent more than $26 million on political campaigns. Compared to the oil industry, Tyson spent more on political campaigns and lobbying than Exxon Mobil per share of revenue. Reducing meat demand reduces the market forces that drive deforestation, agricultural expansion, and the loss of land tenure by women and Indigenous people all over the world. We need to think about creating campaigns in our food system that make adopting low-emission, plant-rich diets affordable and accessible for everyone.

  • Animal-sourced foods generally have higher greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and water use than their plant-based counterparts
  • Food systems (this includes emissions beyond just agricultural production, including activities like food processing, retail, transportation, cooking and refrigeration, and food waste disposal) are currently responsible for 30% of global greenhouse gases
  • Even if we completely eliminate emissions from energy and transportation sectors, business-as-usual food systems alone will make limiting global warming to 1.5°C impossible, and 2°C almost unattainable
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