Touch the Soil News # 179
According to a study by David Tillman and Michael Clark at the University of Minnesota, diets in 2050 will contain 60 percent more empty calories. According to the authors, rising incomes and urbanization are driving a global dietary transition in which traditional diets are replaced by diets higher in refined sugars, refined fats, oils and meats. By 2050 these dietary trends, if unchecked, would be a major contributor to an estimated 80 per cent increase in global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from food production and to global land clearing. Moreover, these dietary shifts are greatly increasing the incidence of type II diabetes, coronary heart disease and other chronic non-communicable diseases that lower global life expectancies.
Alternative diets that offer substantial health benefits could, if widely adopted, reduce global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, reduce land clearing and resultant species extinctions, and help prevent such diet-related chronic non-communicable diseases. The implementation of dietary solutions to the triple dilemma of diet, environment and health is a global challenge, and opportunity, of great environmental and public health importance. The authors gathered information on dietary trends for 90 percent of the global population.
What is really eye-opening is that many of the healthiest foods we can eat are the kinds of foods that could be raised in a home garden. The following short video clip on the top 10 healthy foods illustrates the point: