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New ‘Livewell’ diet focuses on environmental benefits

New ‘Livewell’ diet focuses on environmental benefits

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International environmental organization WWF released on January 30 the “Livewell” diet — a eating regime that is alleged to be both healthy and environmentally beneficial.

The WWF states that in the UK alone “food is responsible for 30% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions […] and a major contributor to the global overshoot of natural resource consumption.”

In response to these concerns the organization created the Livewell diet. The diet, developed in conjunction with British government guidelines and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health at the University of Aberdeen, suggests that small changes to our diet could reduce the environmental impact of food production, lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve standards in health.

Though developed in the United Kingdom the diet guidelines are internationally applicable. Broadly the diet recommends eating more seasonal, regionally grown fruit and vegetables; eating less meat (red and white) and eating less highly processed foods which are more resource-intensive to produce.

Other diets such as vegetarianism and veganism (not eating any foods made with animal products) have long been proposed as an environmentally friendly means of food consumption.

Websites such as www.veganoutreach.com , www.vegan.org and www.chooseveg.com outline the alleged benefits of these diets, often focusing on the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the rearing of livestock.

However “green” websites such as www.supergreenme.com suggest that if consumers do not wish to go vegetarian they should choose types of meat that have a lower environmental impact, such as locally produced meat and grass-fed meat.

For more information about the WWF’s Livewell diet including a suggested shopping list and a seven-day menu see: www.wwf.org.uk/livewell2020 .

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