Food and Diet

Change your diet to combat climate change in 2019

Story highlights

  • The production of animal products generates the majority of food-related greenhouse-gas emissions
  • Sustaining a healthier planet will require a shift toward more plant-based diets, experts say

(CNN)You may be aware that a plant-based diet can make you healthier by lowering your risk for obesity, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. But research shows there's another good reason to regularly eat meatless meals. By filling your plate with plant foods instead of animal foods, you can help save the planet.

One study, published in October in the journal Nature, found that as a result of population growth and the continued consumption of Western diets high in red meats and processed foods, the environmental pressures of the food system could increase by up to 90% by 2050, "exceeding key planetary boundaries that define a safe operating space for humanity beyond which Earth's vital ecosystems could become unstable," according to study author Marco Springmann of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food at the University of Oxford.