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The diet to save lives, the planet and feed us all?

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A diet has been developed that promises to save lives, 10 billion people and all without causing catastrophic damage to the planet

Scientists have been trying to figure out how to feed billions more people in the decades to come.

Their answer ̵

1; "the planetary health diet" – does not completely banish meat and dairy.

But it requires a ginormous shift in what we pile onto our plates and turning to foods that we barely eat.

What changes am I going to have to make?

For red meat you are looking at having a week or a large steak a month and that's your lot.

You can still have a couple of portions of fish and the same of chicken a week, but plants are where the rest of your protein will need to come from.

The researchers are recommending nuts and a good helping of legumes (that's beans, chickpeas and lentils) every day instead.

There is also a major push on all fruit and veg, which should be made half of every plate of food we eat.

Although there is a cull on "starchy vegetables" such as the humble potato or cassava which is widely eat in Africa.

What is the diet in detail?

Nuts – 50g a day

  • Beans, chickpeas, lentils and other legumes – 75g
  • Eggs – 13g a day (so one and a bit a week)
  • Meat – 14g a day of red meat and 29g a day of chicken
  • Carbs – whole
  • Dairy – 250g – The equivalent of one glass of milk
  • Vegetables (300g) and fruit (200g)
  • The diet has room for 31g of sugar and about 50g of oils like olive oil.

    Will it taste awful?

    Prof Walter Willet, one of the researchers who is based at Harvard, said no and that after a childhood on a farm eating three portions

    He said: "There's a tremendous variety there.

    " You can take those foods and put them on the train. here in thousands of different ways. We're not talking about a deprivation diet here, it's healthy eating that is flexible and enjoyable. "Image copyright
    Molly Katzen

    Image caption

    These are some plates of food that measure the planetary health diet rules.

    Is this for real life, or is this just fantasy?

    This plan requires changes in diet in almost every corner of the world

    Europe and North America need to cut back massively on red meat, East Asia needs to cut back on fish, Africa on starchy vegetables.

    "Humanity has never attempted to change the food system at this scale and this speed," says Line Gordon, an assistant professor at the Stockholm Resilience Center.

    "Whether it's a fantasy or not, and fantasy doesn't have to bad … it's time to dream of a good world, "she says.

    Taxes on red meat are one of the many options the researchers say may be necessary to persuade us to switch diets.

    Who came up with this?

    A group of 37 scientists from around the world were brought together as part of the EAT Lancet commission.

    They're a mix of experts from farming to climate change to nutrition and they took two years

    The world population reached 7 trillion in 2011 and it's now around 7.7 trillion.

    That's what we need a diet for 10 trillion people? figure is expected to reach 10 billion around 2050 and will keep on climbing.

    Will it save lives?

    The researchers say the diet will be around 11 million people dying each year.

    That number is largely down to diseases related to unhealthy diet such as heart attacks, strokes and some cancers

    These are now the biggest killers in developed countries.

    How to make a living for the planet?

    The use of land for growing food and forestry accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, about the same as from electricity and heating, and substantially more than from all the trains, planes and automobiles on the planet

    When you look more closely at the food sector's environmental impact, you can see that meat and dairy are the major factors – worldwide, livestock accounts for between 14.5 and 18% of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.

    When it comes to warming gases, agriculture is one of the leading contributors to both methane and nitrous oxide emissions.

    Agriculture is also a significant source of air pollution with ammonia from farms and major cause of fine particulate matter, which the WHO says is a threat to health worldwide.

    Similarly when it comes to water, agriculture and food productions are one of the biggest threats, consuming 70% or global freshwater sources for irrigation.

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