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Tackling the Climate Emergency through Diet Change – Food Tank

ProVeg International, is working to reduce global meat consumption by 50 percent by 2040 and transition to a more resilient, sustainable, and plant-rich food system. 

Raphael Podselver, Head of UN Advocacy for ProVeg, tells Food Tank that there is an urgent need to “drastically” reduce consumption of animal protein to support human and planetary health. 

Industrial livestock production is tied to a number of issues, ranging from deforestation and pollution to antibiotic resistance. Podselver notes that reduction goals will vary by country and region but emphasizes that “it’s really important to acknowledge the emergency to end industrial farming in the coming years.”

Podselver says that it is inspiring to see younger generations recognize the climate implications of meat production. But he argues will be necessary for everyone take steps toward reducing their consumption of animal products. “We have to [get] everyone on board,” he says. 

Podselver believes that most consumers won’t base their purchasing decisions on the environmental impact of the production methods alone. He also acknowledges that it is challenging to shifts eaters’ dietary habits. “Availability and affordability play a big role, along with taste,” Podselver tells Food Tank.

This is why the emerging plant-based meat alternatives are an important part of what Podselver calls the “solution landscape.” These products provide consumers with options that they can conveniently incorporate into their meals, even when time is limited. 

ProVeg is also pushing governments to take action and consider food and agriculture systems in their greenhouse gas emissions targets. Podselver says that food systems did not have a great presence at the recent United Nations Environment Assembly, and he hopes this will change at upcoming global conferences, including this year’s U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP 27).

Listen to the full conversation with Raphael Podselver on “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg” to hear more about how industrialized meat production is driving the climate crisis, ProVeg’s efforts to put food and agriculture systems on the agenda at COP 27, and Podselver’s call for “diet change, not climate change.”

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Photo courtesy of Etienne Girardet, Unsplash