This guest post is part of our Conscious Living content series and written by our friend Patricia Afonso – CMO of Planty. Planty and MFML have teamed up to help you explore more conscious food and movement choices to support more sustainable and healthier lifestyles.
They say 7 is the magic number. At Planty, we believe adopting a predominantly plant-based diet is the more thoughtful option for a better future for everyone – the planet, humans and animals alike.
A recent study published in the Nature Food Journal also highlighted that for the most part, foods that are healthy for us also tend to be better for the environment – with plants leading the way. Titled “Small Targeted Dietary Changes Can Yield Substantial Gains for Human Health and the Environment”, the 7-year study brought together a multidisciplinary group of experts in food sustainability, environmental health and nutrition to calculate the combined health and environmental impact of hundreds of different foods.
Beyond that, eating more plants has never been easier and more appealing thanks to the latest innovations and talents driving a more sustainable and responsible food market. Here at Planty, 7 key reasons motivate us to eat more plants a little more often.
1. It increases the good stuff in your body, so you can thrive
Eating more plants naturally increases your intake of antioxidants (known to reduce cell damage from harmful free radicals), of fibre (which powers a healthy digestive system and is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer), and of vitamins and minerals (both needed to allow your body to function properly and healthily).
2. It reduces the bad stuff harming our planet
The carbon footprint of eating high-protein plant food is significantly lower than their meat alternatives. ‘Our World In data’ highlights that 26% of ALL global emissions come from food, 58% of this is accounted by animal products.
Transport only contributes a small amount to the total greenhouse gas emissions of food production. What you eat is far more important than where your food travelled from when it comes to the environment. Producing 100 grams of protein from beef emits on average 25kg of CO2. Compared to 0.65kg from beans, 0.36 from peas, and even better -0.8 from nuts! That is nuts.
3. It helps conserve our green spaces and habitats
Since the turn of the millennium, the world has been losing around 5 million hectares of forest every year. Harmful for the planet and for those living in these forests including native tribes and animals.
Three-quarters of deforestation is driven by agriculture, with beef production alone responsible for 41% of deforestation. While palm oil and soybeans account for another 18%, only a tiny portion of global soy is used for products consumed by humans (such as soy drinks, tofu or tempeh). Instead, 3/4 actually goes to feeding animals (“Our World In Data”, 2021).
Switching to a more plant-based diet is key for the survival of the planet. Remove the middle man (or rather animal) by switching a few more meals to plant-based options for environmental and health benefits. Each day you follow a plant-based diet, you can save on average 30 square feet of forest land. Plus Planty is also a palm oil free company.
4. It helps preserve our vital fresh water resources
Water is the source of life and eating more plants can drastically cut your water footprint. In fact, by 55% if you opt for a completely meat-free diet. Research shows that vegetables use up 322 litres of water per kg, while beef uses up 15,415kg.
One easy thing you can do to help preserve water is simply switching a few more meals to plant-based alternatives and swapping animal milk to make the most of the various plant-based options.
5. Even small swaps all add up to make a big difference collectively
We’re all in this together and you don’t have to do it all alone. Eating more plants is no longer a fringe idea, and with more of us giving it a go every year, we’re heading in the right direction.
Swapping just a few more meals a week for plant-based alternatives does make a difference. Collectively we can achieve a more sustainable happier future than individually.
6. Great plant-based alternatives exist to satisfy meat & dairy cravings
We’ve gone a long way when it comes to the variety, quality and accessibility of plant-based substitutes for animal products.
Plant-based alternatives to dairy milk for example have boomed over the last year, allowing you to rely on plants to satisfy your latte, cheese and even pizza cravings. While tofu and tempeh are great meat alternatives, most types of beef, chicken or pork meat are now also widely available as a vegan option. Take Planty’s Tikka Masala with THIS™ Isn’t-Chicken pieces or our Polpette Alfredo featuring tender vegan meatballs (in a creamy soy-milk sauce sprinkled with parmesan-like nutritional yeast) – you will never feel like you’re missing that extra bite or texture.
Beyond soy-based vegan meat, high-protein plants with a natural meat-like texture can also be flavoured, marinated and cooked as you would do with meat, fish or seafood. Think Banana Blossom, jackfruit, lentils, mushrooms and even marinated artichoke hearts, meat-eaters can’t stop raving about Planty meals featuring these plants.
7. Companies like Planty are here to make it easier and exciting for you
We’re here to do the hard work, so you don’t have to. We launched Planty to make it as convenient and appealing as possible for anyone to be motivated to eat more plants. Every aspect of our experience has been carefully developed (and is often optimised as we learn) to make eating plants effortless and exciting.
First off, convenience: meals are delivered straight to your door so no need to worry about another trip to the shops. Plus, delivering them frozen allows you to store them in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months without having to worry about any nutritional quality loss or imminent expiration date. Always have a quick meal solution when you lack time, energy or ideas in the kitchen.
Plus, we only use the best of that nature has to offer (no B.S. ingredients or techniques): our meals are handmade by our chefs with the freshest ingredients and then flash-frozen on the spot to lock all of the goodness naturally. We chose to flash-freeze our meals as it is the best way to preserve the nutritional benefits, textures and flavours of our meals in the most natural way. We don’t use any preservatives or other B.S. ingredients or tricks.
Lastly, all our meals have been developed by our award-winning Head Chef Joe to deliver a high-quality experience. His passion for nutritious responsible food combined with his Michelin-star background (and little black book to source the best produce) makes our restaurant-quality meals a sensational taste experience approved by nutritionists and food connoisseurs. Our Yaki-Miso Udon noodles for example has recently won a Great Taste Award.
Check out our other recipes and week of meal suggestions to help you get more plants into your diet.
Why not try it for yourself? Get 30% off any Planty meals of your choice by using the code 7REASONSIN22 at check-out on the Planty website this January 2022.
Sources: NHS, Our World In Data, Nature Food Journal.