The new diet that has you eating for the planet

Labelled as “the optimal diet for people and planet”, the Planetary diet was commissioned in 2019 to tackle three global briefs: to feed a future population of 10 billion people in 2050, to champion a diet that is environmentally sustainable, and to reduce the number of deaths caused by poor diet around the world.

This diet encourages us to eat more plant-forward meals, focus on unsaturated fats, lower our dairy consumption, and cut down on highly-processed foods. According to the commission, by doing so we can lessen the pressure on our food supply chain, reduce our carbon footprint, save 11 million people a year from malnutrition deaths, and more. 

Now, with a mission statement this promising and an action plan that is highly doable and nowhere as intense as other diets, why hasn’t the word “Planetarian” made it on the food map yet? 

Source: CBC.ca

IS IT BECAUSE IT’S NOT A DEPRIVATION DIET?

It’s hard to keep up with the ever-growing dietary handles, and the way we differentiate one diet from another is often by recalling the food that we can not consume – i.e.: Keto means no carbs and Paleo means no farmed or processed foods. But as you can see below, the Planetarian diet ticks all the icons on the food pyramid: whole grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy, protein, fats and sugars. Perhaps when nothing is really off the table, and when there’s no major deficiency to look out for, there’s really nothing distinct or memorable about this diet.


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OR BECAUSE IT DOESN’T COME WITH A COOKIE CUTTER FORMULA?

Planetarian is one of the more intuitive diets. Rather than simply foregoing meat or carbs, it requires an understanding of our food culture, our food sources, and how they impact the environment. For example, according to The Guardian, in order to consume a healthy diet while balancing planetary resources, North Americans should eat 84% less red meat and Europeans should eat 77% less.

Not having a universal fix means we have to rely on local interpretation or do our own homework, and as much as we want to do or eat the right thing, sometimes it’s just easier to tune out and nibble on the taste of ignorance.    


WATCH THIS SPACE

To us, the planetarian diet sounds very much like an underdog. It’s one of the newer diets that reflects our current climate and lifestyle. It takes both our environment and human health into accounts, including those who are malnourished and overnourished. And it’s probably one of the easiest diets to follow and doesn’t deprive us of any essential nutrients.

So watch this space – we won’t be surprised if this diet takes off tomorrow and becomes the talk of every dinner table. 

3 Reasons to try “Meatless Monday”

If you are interested in cutting back but aren’t quite sure where to start, why not try “Meatless Monday”? Simply put, Meatless Monday involves skipping meat for just one day a week in favour of a plant-based day.

Why Monday? Because it helps you start off the week on a strong note and your willpower to start new habits is still strong. An added bonus to starting Meatless Monday’s each week, some claim they eat more fruits, vegetables and plant-based meals throughout the rest of the week… bonus!

So here’s 3 reasons why you should try Meatless Monday


Diversity in Your Diet is Important

No single food contains all the necessary nutrients for overall health and wellness, so it’s important to eat a colourful and varied diet to ensure that you get adequate amounts of all essential nutrients your body and brain needs. 

Consuming a diverse diet can reduce inflammation, which is important to prevent chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. It also ensures a healthy gut microbiome, which we are only beginning to learn the importance of. 

This gives us so much freedom to try any and every plant-based food out there and really have fun with experimenting. 


Mitigating the Environmental Impact of Meat

It is not yet understood the full impact it would have on the world if everyone ate a fully plant-based diet. We do however know that reducing our reliance on animals is important. 

People often talk about the expectation that everyone should be going vegan and eliminating our reliance on animals completely, but even a shift to a “flexitarian” diet can have a huge impact on our health and the climate problem. 


Source: Green Monday

Experimenting With New Ingredients and Recipes

We often think of taking something away that we love (like meat) a loss, but in truth, we often forget to think about all the things we are gaining (like better health). We do not believe in restriction, we believe in crowding out the bad with the good. What do we mean by this? Basically, eating more healthy plants, making there less room for factory farmed meats and dairy. 

Thankfully, Hong Kong has plenty of restaurants that are not only vegetarian and vegan but more and more mainstream restaurants are serving vegan options on their menus like Thai Chiu and Chilli Fagara.  

If you love to cook, you can also prepare your favourite meat dish with a meatless alternative, like Beyond Burger or Omnipork that looks, cooks and tastes just like their living counterparts. 


For some Meatless Monday inspiration, follow 8Shades on Instagram where we’ll be sharing some meatless inspo!