As coronavirus takes over the world and approaches a million cases around the globe, scientists are still investigating its origins. Scientists believe that the virus originated in an exotic market in Wuhan. However, the interconnectedness of our global food system also plays a role in disease transmission.

Evolutionary biologist Rob Wallace of the Agroecology and Rural Economics Research Corps in St Paul, Minnesota, told the Guardian that the factors involved in coronavirus transmission are myriad. “We can blame the object – the virus, the cultural practice – but causality extends out into the relationships between people and ecology.”

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Coronaviruses, SARS, MERS and flus are similar types of diseases with the opportunity for pandemic spread. As food systems grow to accommodate growing populations’ need for meat, factory farming becomes more prevalent. Traditional farms are moved to outer edges, and closer to animal habitats, which increases human-animal contact.

Reporting from  Bloomberg News highlights how China’s increased food production directly impacts the spread of disease and viruses like coronavirus. In the past, disease outbreaks have started with infections from factory-farmed livestock. The H5N1 avian flu was linked to migratory birds getting too close to factory poultry farms. Several studies have suggested that H1N1 swine flu is linked to the movement of pigs and poultry in between North America, Asia and Europe.

According to spatial epidemiologist Marius Gilbert of the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, “There is clearly a link between the emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses and intensified poultry production systems.”

Most scientists agree that wet markets in China need better regulation to help prevent pandemics like these. You can read more about factory farming and diseases in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

This is a good time to reconsider our intake of animal products to stay healthy. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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