Eat Less Meat To Meet Climate Targets, Say Experts: Eat Plant-Based Protein Foods Instead

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The livestock sector could use almost half of the 1.5 degrees Celsius greenhouse gas emission budget allowed by 2030, so addressing this should be a key part of the strategy to hit climate targets, a new study said on Tuesday. Farmed animal law and policy fellow Helen Harwatt at Harvard Law School advises that getting protein from plant sources instead of animal sources would drastically help in meeting climate targets and reduce the risk of overshooting temperature goals. For the first time, Harwatt proposes a three-step strategy to gradually replace animal proteins with plant-sourced proteins, as part of the commitment to mitigate climate change.

The facts are acknowledging that current numbers of livestock are at their peak and will need to decline. The researchers suggest to set targets to transition away from livestock products starting with foods linked with the highest greenhouse gas emissions such as beef, then cow's milk and pork. The best available food approach is assessing suitable replacement products against a range of criteria, including greenhouse gas emission targets, land usage and public health benefits. In the study published in Climate Policy, Harwatt further elaborates that recent evidence show, in comparison with the current food system, switching from animals to plants proteins could potentially feed an additional 350 million people in the US alone.

The article reports that the current livestock population in the world is around 28 billion animals and constitutes the highest source of two major greenhouse gases — methane and nitrous oxide. The production of methane in particular is troublesome, as it has an 85 times greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timeframe. Methane emissions from the livestock sector are projected to rise by 60 per cent by 2030 — the same time period over which strong and rapid reductions are needed.

5 Plant-Based Foods You Must Include In Your Diet

1. Broccoli

Broccoli delivers a fair amount of protein and zero fat and fewer calories. It makes for a great food full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that promote a healthy body.

broccoli

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Broccoli delivers a fair amount of protein.

2. Peas

Peas are a good source of vegetable protein and have a decent amount of fibre. In fact, these tiny delights are low in fat and have zero cholesterol. If you haven't added peas in your diet, it's time you do. Add peas to curries, salads and all things good!

3. Spinach

Spinach is believed to be one of the most nutrient-dense leafy green vegetables you can eat. It is said that protein accounts for 30 percent of its calories along with essential amino acids.

spinach

Spinach is believed to be one of the most nutrient-dense leafy green vegetables you can eat.

4. Cauliflower

Like broccoli, cauliflower provides a high amount of protein for the number of calories it is said to deliver. This versatile vegetable can be adapted to a variety of recipes.

5. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are packed with sufficient amount of protein; however, they do not have entire protein molecules. They miss out on the amino acids that our body cannot make itself. Mushrooms can be made complete proteins when combined with foods that make up the missing amino acids. So, pair mushrooms with other protein-rich foods like broccoli or corn to make it complete protein and healthy.

mushrooms

Mushrooms are packed with sufficient amount of protein.

You can have these veggies steamed, grilled boiled, or have them as part of hearty broths and stews. Here are some protein-rich Indian vegetarian recipes that you must try.

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