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The sustainable diet for the environment


It is possible to talk about sustainable diet even when we are not in front of the scales? According to the FAO, which has developed a definition, the sustainable diets they are low environmental impact diets that contribute to food and nutritional security, but also to a healthy life for present and future generations.

The sustainable diets they contribute to the protection and respect of biodiversity and ecosystems, are culturally acceptable, economically fair and accessible, adequate, safe and healthy from a nutritional point of view, and at the same time optimize natural and human resources. Talking about sustainable diet we therefore refer to the environment and the economy, not to the waistline.

But what is the sustainable diet? Among the sustainable diets, FAO mentions in particular the Mediterranean diet and explains why: it is a food model characterized by variety, as well as by an excellent nutritional balance. There are no nutritional imbalances in this diet and the most recommended foods are those with a lower environmental impact, that is, vegetables.

The Mediterranean diet is one sustainable diet because it involves a high consumption of vegetables, legumes, fresh and dried fruit, olive oil and cereals (which should be 50% wholemeal), a moderate consumption of fish and dairy products (especially cheese and yogurt) and an even more moderate consumption of red meat, white meat and sweets. A mix that is not bad for the environment.

So with one sustainable diet we can contribute to reducing the pollution of the planet, but how much? It is estimated that if a family of 4 adopted a sustainable menu for a whole year, the production of 3.7 tons of CO2 would be saved. An amount equal to that emitted by driving a car for 26 thousand kilometers or to the gas consumption of the same family in two years.

But how much does one cost sustainable diet? Here lies an important point because, especially in times of crisis, a food model is sustainable when it is within everyone's reach. Taking into account the calculations of the Barilla Center for Food Nutrition which heads the Barilla Foundation, the weekly costs in Italy of 4 different menus do not penalize the Mediterranean diet.

A weekly menu in which there are mainly animal proteins costs 43 euros in Milan and 34 euros in Naples. A menu in style sustainable diet Mediterranean with balanced quantities of animal proteins costs 40 euros in Milan and 32 euros in Naples. A vegetarian menu costs 35 euros per week in Milan and 28 in Naples, a vegan menu 33 euros in Milan and 26 euros in Naples.

Read also: The 10 rules of the sustainable diet

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