Green is good. Good for the planet. That’s the message a group of plant-based foods advocacy groups have for government and policy-makers world-wide.
Plant-Based Foods Canada (PBFC) and other members of the International Plant-Based Foods Working Group released a call to action before this fall’s UN Food Systems Summit.
In it, they urged leaders to consider adopting plant-based food systems
Food systems come in many shapes and sizes, but can be categorized as either conventional, or alternative, such as local, organic and fair-trade food systems. They are the sum of what goes into the production, processing, distribution and consumption of our food.
“There is urgency in transforming our food systems and making them fit for future and current challenges,” the coalition says.
There’s mounting evidence that suggests current food systems are responsible for more than a third of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
Lowering those emissions will be integral in meeting the Paris Agreement targets, which were adopted in 2015 by nearly 200 parties at COP 21 in France. The goal of the agreement is to limit global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius of preindustrial levels.
The working group says that in order to meet this goal and several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), predominantly plant-based food systems are the only sustainable option.
By adopting these alternative food systems, a number of the SDGs could be met, including those that tackle the environment, poverty, the climate and hunger.
The groups are developing a roadmap to get there, including investing in these food systems and educating people on the benefits of plant-based diets.
Here’s How We Get to a Greener Diet
The International Plant-Based Foods Working Group has some ideas to encourage more people to adopt plant-based diets, even part-time.
- Use public campaigns to educate citizens about plant-based foods.
- Label plant-based foods so people are informed about their choices.
- Have plant-based food options in schools and hospitals.
- Include plant-based foods in national dietary guidelines.
- Present plant-based foods as a sustainable option in places such as grocery stores.
- Use economic incentives to increase access to plant-based products.
- Provide financial incentives for farmers to shift towards more sustainable practices and crops.
- Help fund research and innovation on plant-based foods.
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