Food production accounts for around one-third of greenhouse gas emissions which is why climate experts are urging governments, food producers, and individuals to take action to improve the sustainability of our food systems.
According to the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a sustainable diet is one that promotes overall health, has a low environmental impact, and is accessible.
Improving the sustainability of our food systems isn't easy, but on an individual level there are steps you can take to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet.
Limit Your Animal Protein Intake
It takes a large amount of energy and resources to produce animal products, especially red meat, so as a result, animal foods release far more GHG emissions than grains, fruits, and vegetables.
If you're a heavy animal-protein consumer, try cutting back at least 1x per week. Incorporate more vegetables or opt for plant protein when you have meals like tacos or burritos.
Incorporate More Plant-Based Meals
Speaking of plant-based meals, try making one plant-based meal per week and go from there.
Prep a lentil soup or a vegetable chili. If you're a fan of pasta, try lentil pasta with a meatless pasta sauce.
Cut Back on Processed Foods.
Diets that are high in ultra-processed foods are large contributors to GHG emissions.
Keep in mind that the more a food is processed, the more emissions are generated in its production.
Try to stay away from processed meats, chips, candy, or sugary drinks and instead opt for some fresh cut veggies with hummus fruit bowls, and if you have a raging sweet tooth, opt for an eco-friendly candy like alter eco or smart sweets.