BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 29 Jun '17

The UK ‘needs to rethink the way it eats’ if we’re to meet Paris Agreement targets

WWF has released a new report , Eating for 2 degrees – new and updated Livewell Plates, which shows how following simple steps, such as reducing the amount of red or processed meat we eat, could help to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

Globally, 20% of total direct carbon emissions are from food and agriculture; the Livewell Plates illustrate the minimal dietary changes needed to meet the Paris Agreement commitment to keep global warming well below 2°C.

‘What we eat and how it’s produced has consequences for the whole planet. By changing our diet and improving production efficiency in the food system, we can make a major contribution to the impact what we eat has on our environment. Indeed, now that the Paris Agreement is in force we have binding commitments to reduce carbon emissions, and changes to what and how much we eat as well as how much we waste, will need to be part of the solution.’

DUNCAN WILLIAMSON
Food Policy Manager at WWF-UK

Balancing plates

This is the second Livewell report, which now includes Plates for adolescents (10-17), the elderly (65-85) and vegans, as well as adults (18-64). It also looks into water use and land footprint as part of the environmental factors alongside carbon footprint.

‘What is clear is that we need to have a public conversation around this. Our aim is to use this report to shape policy maker’s thinking and put pressure on the UK Government to develop healthy eating advice (in the form of the Eatwell Guide) that incorporates sustainability at its heart.’

DUNCAN WILLIAMSON
Food Policy Manager at WWF-UK

Livewell Principles

People are advised to follow the 6 Livewell Principles:

  1. Eat more plants – enjoy vegetables and whole grains
  2. Eat a variety of foods – have a colourful plate
  3. Waste less food – one third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted
  4. Moderate your meat consumption, both red and white – enjoy other sources of protein such as peas, beans and nuts
  5. Buy food that meets a credible certified standard – consider MSC, free-range and fair trade
  6. Eat fewer foods high in fat, salt and sugar – keep foods such as cakes, sweets and chocolate as well as cured meat, fries and crisps to an occasional treat. Choose water, avoid sugary drinks and remember that juices only account for one of your 5-a-day however much you drink

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is a key factor to the balance of the Livewell Plates, and the report outlines ways to reduce food’s carbon footprint while still ensuring dietary requirements are met.

These include a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, two servings of fish per week and a maximum of 70 grams per day of red and processed meat – with the occasional cake and packet of crisps.

Click here to read the report, ‘Eating for 2 degrees – new and updated Livewell Plates’.