Food safety issues are considered a serious problem that is currently facing the world. Dieting links human health to the environment. Efforts to find an environmentally sustainable food system while maintaining a healthy diet and to establish a long-term development model that can cope with potential risks are of great importance to the world today.
Individual food systems and diets vary widely by cultural, economic, and regional factors. Different food systems have many and complex effects on individuals and society. On the one hand, humans depend on food for survival. Food supplies nutrients to humans, and spreads infectious diseases such as toxins and bacteria in the environment, affecting individual health and social stability. On the other hand, food links humans to the environment. A study by the University of Oxford showed that greenhouse gas emissions from food production are one of the important causes of global warming, accounting for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. But the impact of different foods on the environment varies greatly.
Today, as the food system becomes more global, countries shift from partial food shortages and hunger to over-consumption (developed countries are currently in this state), and in theory they have turned to a healthier and more sustainable diet. But in fact, billions of people still face malnutrition: not eating a diet that contains healthy amounts of energy and nutrition. It is estimated that 11% (794 million) of the global population lacks calories. Nearly 25% of children under the age of 5 (161 million) are stunted. Malnutrition can take many forms, undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and over-consumption. Micronutrient deficiencies remain a problem that needs to be solved, and the problem of excessive consumption is getting worse. Although global calorie consumption is increasing, there are still many people in some areas who are malnourished or have low long-term diets. This condition can lead to nutritional imbalances and lead to a range of diseases. For example, excessive nitrogen in the human body can cause the striatum of the white willow water. The food system currently built by society is still very fragile and harmful to the environment. We should see potential risks and dilemmas. The global transformation of food systems is very important for the long-term sustainable coexistence of humans and the environment.
People with micronutrients lack nutritional deficiencies regardless of whether they consume enough total calories. Most of the undernutrition occurs in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, a phenomenon that leads to weight loss. It is usually caused by poverty and a diet that lacks diversity. On a global scale, overweight and obesity are mostly found in rich countries. But in high-income countries, overweight and obesity are more common in economically poorer residents. Compared with the rich, the poor people around the world have poorer eating habits and health conditions. Excessive consumption of calories can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. Food shortages and excessive consumption can cause huge diseases worldwide. At present, the diet-related challenges are changing, from “insufficient” to “too many wrong types”. In such an era of tremendous changes in the food system brought about by economic and technological development, it is important to establish a sustainable food system, provide guidance to people to guide what they eat every day, and cultivate an environmentally friendly consumer mind.
It is estimated that the population growth will reach 10 billion by 2050, and human beings and the global environment will face unprecedented risks. The probability of a non-communicable disease outbreak increases, and more people undoubtedly need more food. Sudden increases in food demand will greatly increase greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbate nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, and the stability of the Earth system will be affected. If we cannot complete the transformation of the food system before the population grows significantly, we will face a huge crisis.
According to recent scientific research, avoiding the consumption of meat and dairy products can greatly reduce the impact on the environment and promote the transformation of the food system. A major report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that shifting from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet can help combat climate change. Oxford University’s research shows that although meat provides only one-fifth of the calories we eat, it accounts for more than half of the food-related greenhouse gas emissions. It was found to be the most destructive to the environment . For the average resident, reducing the proportion of meat in the diet is the most effective and simple way to support the transformation of the food system.
Researcher Joseph Poore told the BBC News: “Whether it’s climate change or biodiversity loss, the food we eat is one of the most powerful drivers behind most of the world’s major environmental problems. ”
He said that changing water diets can have a major impact on your personal environment, from water conservation to reducing pollution and reducing forest losses. “This reduces the amount of land needed to produce food by about 75%, which is a huge reduction, especially if you expand the land globally,” Poore explained.
The same food, if the production method and production area are different, the impact on the environment will be very different. For example, cattle raised on natural pastures produce much less greenhouse gas emissions than cattle raised on deforested land. Tomatoes grown in outdoor or high-tech greenhouses are more environmentally friendly than tomatoes grown in natural gas or oil-heated greenhouses. But even the most climate-friendly meat selection produces greenhouse gases that produce more greenhouse gases than vegetarian protein sources such as nuts or beans.
In terms of dietary consumption, the IPCC said that we need to reduce the amount of milk, meat, butter and cheese, increase the proportion of locally produced seasonal foods in the diet, and reduce food waste.
A committee of 19 members and 18 co-authors from 16 countries developed a healthy reference diet that can theoretically be used to maintain good health and sustainable food safety while taking into account human health, agriculture, political science and Various fields such as medicine. Environmental sustainability. This healthy reference diet consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and unsaturated oils, including small to medium quantities of seafood and poultry, and contains almost no refined grains, starchy vegetables, red meat, processed. Meat and added sugar.
A healthy diet has appropriate calorie intake, including small amounts of animal-derived foods, refined grains, saturated fats, highly processed foods and added sugars, large amounts of plant foods, and unsaturated fats. The goal of a sustainable food system is to reduce the consumption of more than 50% of unhealthy foods worldwide, such as sugar and saturated fatty acids, by 2050, and increase the consumption of more than 100% of healthy foods such as vegetables, beans, nuts and fruits.
A sustainable food system can not only reduce carbon dioxide emissions to a great extent, but also benefit individuals. In the theoretical model of a sustainable food system, the world can theoretically avoid about 19.0-23.6% of deaths per year.
To complete the transformation of the global food system, it is necessary not only to personally change eating habits, but also to reduce the intake of high-carbon dioxide-discharged foods during production. It also requires government policy guidance and support to reward food growers who grow CO2-discharged foods. Food production areas are restricted, such as the use of deforested areas for the cultivation of beef cattle, food suppliers such as supermarkets to reduce the supply of non-environmentally friendly foods, and food processors to increase the environmentally friendly foods that customers can choose. Kinds to improve the taste of environmentally friendly foods.
To complete the transformation of the global food system requires multiple groups to work together. Individual consumers, policy makers, food growers, and food processors must pay attention to whether the environment in which food is produced is sustainable for long-term use, and whether the final food is healthy. By 2050 and beyond, the global food system will provide a win-win diet for everyone. Achieving this goal will require a number of rapid changes and unprecedented global cooperation and commitment, which is undoubtedly a great food revolution.