Beans, beans are good for your heart, the more you eat the more you fart. But that means methane. Which isnt so good for the environment. Now, your limited flatulence may not be causing climate change on the scale that burping cows apparently are, but nonetheless the synergies between what we put in our mouth and our environmental footprints are receiving more attention.
But what would a sustainable and healthy diet look like? Well, WWF-UK asked researchers at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health at the University of Aberdeen to find out. Their findings have just been published, and they have created a Livewell plate.
This takes the idea of the Eatwell plate which recommends the proportions of food within our diets based on health and revamps it to consider the greenhouse gas emissions from the food groups, too. Theres a weekly menu and it isnt all tofu and sprouts. It actually looks pretty normal, but it cuts the average persons daily food print from 7.5 to 4.7 kgCO2e/day and their food bills. In fact, it offers many of the foods we are used to but in different proportions. There is less meat, of course, but not no meat.
The Department of Health is, as I write this, about to announce that it wants to see Brits eat less red meat for health reasons. Im not sure if theres an environmental agenda in there too, but it will be interesting to see what Defra the Department in charge of UK food and agriculture feels about it. Last year, the DoH (then under Labour) partfunded a piece of research looking at how health professionals could help combat the effects of climate change. They concluded that cutting livestock by 30 per cent would result in less emissions and a healthier nation. An oversimplification, perhaps, but itll be interesting to see how the new report is greeted across Whitehall. The appetite for linking health and sustainability is certainly growing, and its certainly an area that well be closely monitoring in the months to come (as well as developing some exciting new areas of the magazine). Indeed, well be put to the test in a couple of months when most of you will hopefully be sitting down with us at the inaugural Footprint Awards (page 33). Every aspect of the evening will tell a sustainability story and Michelin starred chef, David Cavalier, will be looking after the food. In the meantime, enjoy the mag, and please do get in touch with comments, good or bad.