|Lettuce and herbs growing on the author's Tower Garden|
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: People, Planet, Prosperity
“One of the major factors contributing to global warming is industrial meat production.”
--Noam Chomsky, cognitive scientist, philosopher, from the film, Vegan 2017
Changing how we think about food is essential to our planet's survival.
Changing the question from, “Are you getting enough protein?” to “Are you getting enough dietary fiber?” is essential for reversing the growing numbers of people diagnosed with preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
America's obsession with protein needs to be shaken up for the sake of our health and the health of our planet. Animal protein is strongly associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure. Foods from animals contain saturated fats (the “bad” fats) and are solid at room temperature - and on the inside of your blood vessels). Foods with saturated fats include: beef, chicken, pork, milk (excluding fat-free milk), cheese, and cream.
To have a healthy planet for our children, we can grow and eat foods that are good for us, not disease-causing. People often tell me that buying healthy food is too expensive. My response is always the same, "You think it is expensive to eat healthy? Getting cancer is a lot more expensive."
One change we can make to protect the planet’s future is embrace plant-based eating and pivot away from a food culture based on the inhumane factory farming of animals to meet America’s artificial demand for meat and dairy products.
According to data from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, revised calculations of methane produced per head of cattle show that global livestock emissions in 2011 were 11% higher than estimates. Increasing levels of methane are contributing to climate change and the effect on weather all over the world, according to an article published September 29, 2017 in The Guardian.
To learn more about America’s obsession with animal protein, read Proteinaholic by Garth Davis, MD. To learn how much protein is right for you based on your age, gender, height and weight, go to proteinaholic.com (or click here) and click on “calculator”. You will be surprised at how little protein you really need.
We have been deceived by the food industry's advertising campaigns that promote eating animal protein, such as the "Beef-It's What's for Dinner" and the milk mustache campaigns. Eating too much protein, especially animal protein, is making us sick.
I have always believed that when we care about the food we eat, treat animals ethically, focus on preventing diseases instead of treating them, then we will be able to get our fragile planet out of the emergency room and back to health.
Eat real food. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
With love and gratitude,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.