Eating a plant-based diet is now perceived as an improvement in our U.S. food culture for better health and longevity.
A new study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science seems to put eating meat into a common sense and realistic perspective. Some important points emerge:
- The feasibility of the current U.S diet conversion to a plant-based diet would have some complex considerations.
- Would a plant-based diet provide the nutrients we need and now obtain from our current meat-centered diet?
- Would the reduction of the amount of green house gas emissions be enough to make a decided difference?
The U.S. diet has its roots in people eating both plant and animal foods and has more recently become animal food centered. In an ideal world, in my opinion, animals would all be free-range roaming and not dosed with hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or experience the cruelties of the huge feedlot operations. But, realistically, current practices have a long way to go before this would ever be possible.
In the book, The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner, writes: “In most Blue Zones people ate small amounts of pork, chicken, or lamb. Families traditionally slaughtered a pig or goat for festival celebrations, ate heartily, and preserved the leftovers for frying or as a condiment for flavor . Neither beef nor turkey figures significantly into the average Blue Zones.” in some “healthy” cultures, meat is used as more of an accompaniment rather than the “main attraction.”
How would a conversion of the U.S. diet to a more plant-based diet affect our current environmental and nutrition status?