World Resources Institute Urges Us to Shift Our Diets For a Sustainable Future

Published last week, the World Resources Institute has laid out the case for shifting our diets to more plant-based proteins and away from beef, lamb and other animal meats.  There are several reasons for this, outlined in their report "Shifting Diets For a Sustainable Food Future." 

Among them are:

Global average protein consumption was approximately 68 grams per person per day—or more than one-third higher than the average daily adult requirement.

The share of animal-based protein is growing in people’s diets relative to that of plant-based protein.

The agricultural land use and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the average American diet were nearly double those associated with the average world diet, with 80 to 90 percent of the impacts from consumption of animal-based foods.

And there is so much more.

NPR's The Salt sums up the paper here. 

And here is WRI's Protein Scorecard.  Take a look at it, digest it, and use it the next time you're in the supermarket.

Photo credit: WRI

Photo credit: WRI

According to WRI, poultry and pork have a much lower impact on the environment than, say, beef or lamb.  And plant-based proteins are even less.  So while WRI is advocating for a shift towards more plant-based proteins, there's a way for us to shift our diets to make small, incremental changes that feel more doable - and have significant, lasting environmental impacts along the way. 

To make this all a realistic proposition, check out the WRI "Shift Wheel."  Developed from private sector marketing strategies, the wheel sheds light on how to change our behavior, purchases and ultimately what we eat.