Friday, June 8, 2018

World Meat Free Week for Healthy Environment


We all eat. right?!

That's unquestionable and undebatable.

But the question is? Are we eating the way we should be? Are we aware of the impact or the issues of what we put on our plate?

Every day, we munch, grub, consume food multiple times a day, understanding the impact of our food choices (and not just on our waistlines) can be pretty important too, you know.

Realizing this and many other things concerning eating less meat and more vegetables, after being invited to attend a pre-campaign project with Greenpeace Philippines, I decided to get involved somehow as they promote #DIETFORCLIMATE.

#DietforClimate is a conscious effort from Greenpeace Philippines to raise awareness about some issues our environment faces, which evidently is not getting better.  They believe that even small changes in the way we eat and look at things about farming, getting healthy and conserving the planet can make a big impact in preserving the environment.

I've now been reading studies of how food production affects the environment and creates greenhouse gases.and how young people have gotten tired of farming or even taking care of plants.  I
thought I'm doing fine with the helping the farmers part by buying vegetables and fruits in our local market, but what I didn't realize is that we are damaging the environment by eating loads of meat, and I can't deny, we do eat a lot of chicken and beef, well, my kids can live with just Adobo and Fried Chicken everyday but NO!  As long as I'm alive they're be getting balanced menu of meat and veggies.

Pushing the envelope some more, I've challenged myself and my family to eat more veggies starting today in support for World Meat Free Week (WMFW) which will commence on June 11, 2018 until the 17th.

Greenpeace Philippines and partner organizations are holding events from Quezon City, Iloilo, Zamboanga, Bacolod, and Iriga in support for this.


Eating our Way Out of Climate Change with Less Meat

So you may ask, "how do I harm the environment eating meat?  That's quite absurd!".

1. Large Scale Consumption of Animal Products Leaves Environmental Footprint 

Davis Hulton, director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment at the University of California, studies how food production affects the environment and creates greenhouse gases. Nearly every step that goes into food production has some impact on global warming, and it adds up:  Livestock farming and deforestation for cattle supply are responsible for nearly a quarter of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

I'm not saying that the animals (what we eat) themselves cause climate change, but how humans' unethical means of raising them for massive commercial production, we're not even talking about the factories that preserves them in cans yet.

Livestock farming has a vast environmental footprint. It contributes to land and water degradation, biodiversity loss, acid rain, coral reef degeneration and deforestation.

Climate change alone poses multiple risks to health and well-being through increased risk of extreme weather events – such as floods, droughts and heatwaves – and has been described as the greatest threat to human health in the 21st century.

Reducing consumption of animal products is essential if we are to meet global greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets – which are necessary to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

2. Inefficiency in Meat Production

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the production, processing and distribution of meat requires huge outlays of pesticides, fertilizer, fuel, feed and water while releasing greenhouse gases, manure and a range of toxic chemicals into our air and water. A life cycle analysis conducted by EWG that took into account the production and distribution of 20 common agricultural products found that red meat such as beef and lamb is responsible for 10 to 40 times as many greenhouse gas emissions as common vegetables and grains. (Credit: link)

3. Livestock vs. People

Studies shown that more than 80 percent of the corn we grow and more than 95 percent of the oats are fed to livestock.

The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people—more than the entire human population on Earth. According to the Worldwatch Institute, “Roughly 2 of every 5 tons of grain produced in the world is fed to livestock, poultry, or fish; decreasing consumption of these products, especially of beef, could free up massive quantities of grain and reduce pressure on land.”

With the meat production malpractice, more and more people are getting hungry.

I guess we should be eating a mushroom burger more than regular beef burgers.

4. Antibiotic Resistance, Cancer and more Sickness

At the production level, industrial livestock farming relies heavily on antibiotic use to accelerate weight gain and control infection – in the US,  80% of all antibiotics are consumed by the livestock industry.

This contributes to the growing public health problem of antibiotic resistance. Already, more than 23,000 people are estimated to die every year in the US alone from resistant bacteria. As this figure continues to rise, it becomes hard to overstate the threat of this emerging crisis.  (Credit: link)

The widespread use of antibiotics to keep livestock healthy on those overcrowded concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) has led to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that threaten human health and the environment in their own right.

Eating too much meat is no good for our health, with overindulgence linked to increasing rates of heart disease, cancer and obesity. Worldwide, between 1971 and 2010, production of meat tripled to around 600 billion pounds while global population grew by 81 percent, meaning that we are eating a lot more meat than our grandparents. Researchers extrapolate that global meat production will double by 2050 to about 1.2 trillion pounds a year, putting further pressure on the environment and human health.

Whew! This made me guilty, and I'm so willing to pass on my Friday steak!

And I hope you are too!

I'm not saying let's all go meatless forever!!!!

That's one hard act to decide on to, but why not, if it's meant to help get me more into shape, or even save the planet, heck why not!

As I've mentioned, it's all about making baby steps.  If you can't go all the way to NO MEAT, who am I to judge.  Maybe you can lessen your meat consumption, One fried chicken per day, or having steak nights for just once in a month.

There are so many ways on how you can help as well and Greenpeace have made a list of them together with action links to support the campaign and put the word for World Meat Free Week into practice.  Do visit https://lessismore.greenpeace.org/ for more info.


Re-work Your Favorite Traditional Family Recipe to Reduce Meat and Dairy

Here's what I did at home in support.

With the regular dishes I cook at home, I altered the recipes opting out the meat or replacing it with mushrooms or plant-based protein.

Here's what Greenpeace suggested on how to make it a success, thus giving your family optimum health.

1. REDUCE

If you want to reduce the amount of meat and dairy, flip the veggie-to-meat ratio. Many recipes have a meat to veggie ratio of four to one or more. If you don’t want to cut out the meat entirely, you can flip the ratio so that you still have the meat in the dish, but have more veggies than meat. This will keep the flavor, reduce the environmental footprint, and increase the healthfulness of the dish. You can even use the money saved by buying less meat and dairy to buy higher quality ecological meat and dairy.

2. REPLACE

If you want to replace the meat and dairy, swap out the meat and dairy with plant protein sources and other veggiesMany people in the world actually consume more protein than they need. However, if you are concerned about retaining the protein content of your dish, you can replace the meat/dairy with plant protein. Legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), certain grains, nuts, and seeds are all high in protein. You can also use tofu, tempeh, seitan, textured vegetable protein, and plant-based milks and cheeses.

Swapping out one starch for another can also do wonders for your meal. You can replace the type of starch with one that is equally delicious but has more protein content. For example, dishes that call for white rice, pasta, or potatoes can be replaced by cornmeal, wheat berries, teff, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, wild rice, millet, couscous, oatmeal, or buckwheat.

Share your results!


Mushroom Chopsuey
Strawberry and Banana Crumble

Today, I cooked our regular Chopsuey and re-invented it to Mushroom Chopsuey, no chicken which is what I usually cook it with.  Also, I made Strawberry and Banana Crumble for dessert.  It only took me less than P 200 to prepare everything. 

Check the recipe on the succeeding post.

Once you’ve put a new spin on your traditional family recipe, try inviting family members to make the new version with you at the next family occasion. Share photos of the old and new versions and what you changed on social media. Even challenge your friends and family to try making the new version themselves.

Also, another thing I would like to mention is how we can also help raise more farmers or help more local farmers to practice good farming as with the rise of meat production, there had become less farmers.

Let's help our farmers by supporting the campaign as this will raise a need for more hard-working people to till our lands and make it healthy again. It only takes a change in attitude and mindset when it comes to eating. We need to change the way we eat- to choose better food options; to consider our health and well-being; and to be mindful of the environment.

By consuming ecologically produced fruits and vegetables, we can support farmers’ livelihood. Remember, the simple act of buying their produce can be a meaningful act of kindness.  (Quoted from Virginia Llorin)

To support our farmers, Greenpeace is challenging you and your foodie friends to eat at least two meat-free meals a week, with our #DietforClimate challenge.

We encourage social media users to get busy on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts by posting photos of your meat-free meals and to tag and challenge family and friends to do the same.




Ready to take a shot at our #DietforClimate challenge? Here are the mechanics:

1. TAKE A PHOTO of your meat-free meal of the week. (This could either be a lunch, dinner or maybe both!)
2. UPLOAD AND SHARE the photo on your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram)
3. WRITE a short caption about your meal (you can share the recipe), and your motivation to join Greenpeace's Diet for Climate challenge
4. TAG 5 FRIENDS to challenge to eat healthier: I nominate my friends namely, to eat more plant-based food this week

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #DietforClimate #LessIsMore

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