Many of us are concerned about our environment, and as a result, our meal planning is beginning to become more environmentally friendly. Until now, the latest trend has been the vegetarian diet which focused on eating solely produce and no meat, but now the Paleo Diet, a healthier and more environmentally friendly alternative, has taken the health world by storm!
As the Paleo Diet has become more popular, many of us are wondering how this diet that encourages large consumption of meat contributes to our environment? Is it possible to be environmentally conscious and still try the new Paleo diet?
The Paleo diet, also known as the Caveman Diet, encourages us to return to the eating habits of cavemen from the Paleolithic era. Over two million years ago, cavemen were hunter-gatherers who spent their days being extremely active; they only ate what they could find which were proteins, healthy fats, and very few carbohydrates. The Paleo diet trend started with “Paleo Diet for Athletes”, a book written by Joe Friel and Loren Cordian. In the book, Friel and Cordian argue that our current diets have us eating too many refined sugars, cereals, and dairy products and too few lean meats, seafood, and fresh vegetables or fruit. Their argument is supported by an article that the American Heart Association published in the New England Journal of Medicine where they demonstrate that a low-carb high protein diet is more effective for weight loss than a low-fat high-carb diet.
For those of you who would prefer to consider the environment when planning your meals, there’s evidence that the Paleo diet contributes to the environment in two ways: promoting the growth of livestock and reducing deforestation by reducing the demand for produce. Also, vegans who love their cheese will be stunned to learn that cheese is bad for our environment and cereal lovers will not like to learn that cereals are known to produce more greenhouse emissions than red meat does.
Although the Paleo diet is not considered an environmentally friendly diet, it clearly is because it supports the consumption of fresh food, and it also supports environmentally sustaining processes. There might still be skeptical people who do not believe that a diet full of meat is such a great idea and there also might be the notion that this diet is simply another trend, but these falsities are irrelevant. Whether you choose to try this diet or not, it makes us think what we’re putting on the dinner table.
James Kim is a writer for Unique Influence, a content service that publishes articles about trends, current events, and topics of interest.