GreenTown Los Altos

All About Well Being

Eating Green: Why It’s Good for the Planet

When it comes to plant-based diets, what’s not to like? It’s good for our planet, good for our health and good for the animals! GreenTown Los Altos is here to support local restaurants and YOU to transition to more plant-based meals! Why?

Healthy Planet = Healthy People

Raising animals for human consumption is a major cause of climate change, generating 18 percent of all greenhouse gases, a significant consumer and polluter of water, and the single largest user of land.

  • 29 percent of freshwater is used for animal agriculture and animal agriculture is a large source of pollution of waterways, coastal areas and coral reefs. (1, 2)

  • Increased land use for animal agriculture is a key factor in deforestation, especially in South America leading to species extinction and biodiversity loss.  Seventy percent of previous forested land in the Amazon is now pasture and feed-crops cover a large part of the remainder. (3,4)

Healthy Bodies = Happy Bodies

Plant-based foodsare good for you and this awareness is growing in most major health organizations.

    • A low-fat, plant-based diet, combined with regular exercise and a healthy overall lifestyle, can prevent, delay and even reverse heart disease and other cardiovascular events. (5)  Further, plant-based diets have been shown to control and reverse Type II diabetes. (6,7)

Large healthcare organizations, like Kaiser Permanente now advise all of their 17,000+ physicians to recommend a plant-based diet to all their patients. (8)

Happy Animals = Happy Planet

For every person in the world, more than 10 animals are slaughtered each year.(9)

  • The vast majority of chickens, cows and pigs are raised on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to maximize efficiency and profitability in living conditions are not humane. Animals are denied their basic instincts, like roaming, nesting, and nurturing their young. (10)

  • Animals are slaughtered at a fraction of their lifespan. For example, chickens naturally live for 10 years, but when bred for meat, they are typically killed at 6 weeks. Pigs, which live for 15 years, are typically killed at 6 months.

Results of Resident Survey

To understand resident preferences and help shape our campaign, we surveyed 150+ folks in Los Altos Los Altos Hills. Three key results from the survey are shown below:

1. About 2/3 of omnivores would like to eat more plant-based foods.

 

2. Nearly half of the omnivores surveyed (48%) are NOT HAPPY with the number of plant-based options at local restaurants. This number jumps to 65% when you include vegan and vegetarians.

3. The primary things that prevent people from eating more plant-based foods are a lack of recipes and concern about nutrition, both of which we will cover in the campaign.

Eating Green Campaign Kick-off

We kick off our Eating Green Campaign on June 6, at 7pm at the Los Altos Library. Ocean Robbins, CEO and Host of Food Revolution Network will give a talk entitled “Healthy Food, Healthy Planet.” For more information and to register, please visit HERE.

 

Resources

References

  1. Livestock’s long shadow (UN FAO 2006) http://www.fao.org/3/a-a0701e.pdf

  2. The water footprint of poultry, pork and beef: A comparative study in different countries and production systems. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212371713000024

  3. Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2702436/

  4. Center for biological diversity https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/

  5. https://www.pcrm.org/health-topics/heart-disease

  6. https://www.pcrm.org/health-topics/diabetes

  7. A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16873779

  8. Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

  9. Greenpeace “Less Is More” goal. https://www.greenpeace.org/international/publication/15093/less-is-more/

  10. UN FAO statistics http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/