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Sustainable shopping, which reduces the food’s carbon footprint by 50 percent, is healthier, delivers better nutrient outcomes and no longer has to cost consumers. This is evident from a new report commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The report says that adapting our current diet is essential to ensuring a healthy future for our planet and for people.
The report notes the need for a shift in the share of animal and vegetable products, as well as a decline in highly processed products. This is necessary because our current diet is not healthy for our planet. In order to reduce the impact on climate and biodiversity, we must eat less meat (up to two times per week) and half less dairy and highly processed products. Limited purchase of fish, shellfish and crustaceans is recommended.
We can safely eat eggs, vegetables, fruits and legumes often, as well as nuts, grain products, vegetarian meats and milk substitutes (such as tofu, tempeh, corn, and soy milk). These provide a sustainable and nutritional alternative to animal proteins.
The effect is halved
“A sustainable shopping basket for a family of four reduces the impact on the climate. Land use will be reduced by a third, providing more space for nature or more sustainable forms of agriculture. Pollution is reduced, which benefits water quality in streams and rivers. The loss of animal species will also decrease.” And vegetarianism as a result of food production is diminishing. “Last but not least,” there is room for better compensation for the farmer, “says Titus Geslink, director of the Food and Agriculture Program at WWF.
The good news is that these sustainable products no longer have to cost. According to the current diet, a family of four (two adults, one teenager and one child) spends an average of € 172 per week on food and drink. An optimal diet reduces this spending to € 158 (-9 percent), largely due to lower consumption of alcoholic beverages, snacks, soft drinks, meat and dairy products.
According to WWF, the government can and should play a prescriptive role in encouraging consumers to make ecological food choices, thus reducing their footprint. This can be done, among other things, by supporting good agricultural practices and thus making sustainable products more competitive.