Globalization and factory farming have led to innovation in food, but are also important factors in increased viruses like the coronavirus. And much of this food is harmful to the environment.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), part of the United Nations, has found that emissions from livestock account for 14.5% of emissions from human-centered activities. Meat production is linked to habitat destruction and increased deforestation. As we shrink animal habitats, they end up in crowded areas or in exotic markets, like the one responsible for the coronavirus.

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Factory farming has been linked to multiple viruses, including African swine fever. Scientists have warned us that if we continue to farm meat in unsustainable ways, it could lead to an increased incidence of viruses.

As the spread of information continues, some consumers are getting the message and reducing their meat intake. According to an IPSOS Mori survey, there were 600,000 vegans living in the United Kingdom in 2019. YouGov reports that 14% of people in the UK call themselves “flexitarian.”

Restaurants and food chains have introduced new plant-based meat concepts to woo these customers and start to appeal to meat-eaters. Burger King, KFC and Panera all now offer plant-based options.

To help reduce the emissions impact of long-distance fruits and vegetables, experts are hoping that consumers begin relying on local farmers and eating food that is grown locally. Patrick Holden, founding director of the Sustainable Food Trust, told CNBC, “We should eat what the farmers who live in our part of the world, in our region… produce, using sustainable production methods. Farmers should be as self-sufficient as possible. That’s the best way to feed ourselves: grow our own food or at least buy from producers who live locally to us. That’s food security as well — we need more food security.”

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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and 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 many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, 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.

Here are some resources to get you started:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

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