What’s For Dinner Tonight? Your Choice Could Change You and The World!
If your dinner tonight is based on the ingredients on the left of the picture above, you are among the majority of people in the West who enjoy the fruits of an affluent society. What are these fruits you can expect to enjoy? Well, there is the immediate enjoyment of a tasty rich meal topped off with a mouth-watering creamy dessert, but then there is the later harvest of many such meals over the years. This later harvest might include all the chronic diseases associated with our affluent society; heart disease, strokes, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, MS, cancer and a general deterioration of the quality of life with ever increasing medical costs and medical interventions.

There is yet another side to the story and that is what happens when a few billion people eat this way? Most of the food in the left frame above require many more times the water and energy input than the foods on the right side. This puts a strain on the planet’s ability to sustain such a diet; water resources are depleted, greenhouse gases are increased, tropical forests are destroyed, fossil fuels are depleted further damaging the atmosphere, land erosion gets worse, waterways are polluted with run-off from artificial fertilisers, heavier uses of herbicides and pesticides, essential to mechanised farming of these foods, increases the toxic load on us all and on the rivers and seas.

Quite simply this process is not sustainable, and we must start to consider the future of our grandchildren in a world so damaged and depleted. If this were not enough, while the affluent countries enjoy their over-indulgence and over-consumption, a large percentage of the population are dying of malnutrition related diseases or just starvation.

If your dinner tonight is based on most of the food on the right then there is quite a different story to tell! With all that whole plant food you will enjoy a delicious meal and a healthy, disease proof future as well as supporting a sustainable future for everyone and the planet!

Let’s run through the impact of your best choice of dinner.

1. A Whole Plant Based Diet (WPBD) will give you all the nutrients you need for a healthy life. See the table below:
2. A WPBD will not give you high levels of the potentially harmful fat & cholesterol found in an ABD:
3. All the evidence is pointing towards the fact that a WPBD will give you protection against most of the modern diseases of affluence; cancer, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and a host of others. See my website thefoodconnection.org.uk or 4leafprogram.com

4. There is ample evidence that a WPBD will reduce your weight if you have been on the usual Western diet. Obesity is rare amongst those eating a WPBD. See above websites.

5. A WPBD drastically reduces energy, land and water requirements to produce WPB food versus ABF.

6. The production of WPB foods would reduce the environmental damage in many ways; reduced greenhouse gases, reduced tropical forest destruction, reduced fresh water demand, reduced use of toxic chemicals, reduced pollution of waterways and the sea.

7. The demand for pharmaceutical drugs would be dramatically reduced with the reduction of chronic diseases. (The expenditure on drugs by seniors in the USA rose from $550 per person in 1992 to $2800 in 2007 & still rising!)

8. There would be a considerable reduction in the expenditure on expensive medical care, with far fewer operations or investigations needed. (Western countries expenditure on these services is growing faster than economic growth as we get sicker.)

9. The current resources could provide adequate food for everyone if there was a shift towards WPBD in the affluent societies. (A kilo of beef requires 20 times the energy and 100 times the water to produce than a pound of WPB food).

10. And finally we don’t have to change overnight! Old habits are hard to break. Our eating habits are usually well entrenched, they determine the shopping we do, the meals we cook and the food we like on our plates. Once we recognise the facts above we have an incentive to move little by little towards a healthier, cheaper, more resource friendly diet that will change us and the planet.

Maybe you could start by checking where you are on this journey?
Go to 4leafsurvey.com to do a quick survey as to where you are then repeat this in a few months time to see your progress.

Enjoy your dinner and save the planet at the same time! Now that’s cool!
Michael Lingard
Orthopath & Buteyko Educator
lingard @totalhealthmatters.co.uk