The Lancet, the leading health publication, in its volume 373 of May 2009 noted that climate change represents the “biggest global health threat of 21st century”. Just two years later the United Nations General Assembly identified that non-communicable diseases (such as cardiac arrest, stroke, diabetes) now account for over 63% of deaths in the world annually.
But what if there was some way to combat both global climate change and our global health epidemic at the same time; a non-zero-sum-game if you will?
Spinach In, Spam Out.
When we ride a bike to work, we not only burn calories, improve our muscle insulin sensitivity, and assist our mental wellbeing but we also avoid the release of carbon into the atmosphere from driving a car. Could we have an even greater impact by changing our diet? Yes, we can. We now know that the foods that are generating the most greenhouse gases appear to be the same foods that are contributing to many of our chronic diseases. Hold-back the meat, eggs and milk, and tuck-in to some Isle of Man grown organic fruits, vegetables instead.
Will Lettuce Help?
The European Commission’s 2012 Behavioural Climate Change Mitigation report on what individuals can do to mitigate climate change identified that “Shift to a vegetarian diet” came out top for immediate impact, with “Shift to a healthy diet” coming second (considered to be consuming fewer animal products and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption). Buying a Tesla was only in third place, so keep that in mind when you’re cruising past McDonalds fully charged with your windows down and your system up.
Forks Over Knives.
Climate change may appear to the individual to be an overwhelming, complex problem, far departed from daily life. However, if we as citizens of a shared Isle of Man and a shared World make small changes like starting a Meat Free Monday (Meat Free Mondays) and using a fork more often than a knife (Forks Over Knives), our actions will not only help our planet but also our waistlines and health.
So, if you’re looking for a positive change in 2018 with huge consequences, think about trying to buy more locally sourced, fruits and vegetables (organic for added boost), and cut down on your animal product intake, even try going free one day a week. It’s a Win / Win for our health and our planet.
If you’re interested in learning about the Isle of Man Green Party, find us on Facebook here or drop us an email at email@example.com.