GreenTown Los Altos

Eating Green

Join our team to promote eating  green

 

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 YOU and  local restaurants in transitioning  to more plant-based meals! Here’s why.

 

Healthy Planet = Healthy People

A plant-based diet reduces greenhouse gas emissions – Raising animals for human consumption is a major cause of climate change, generating 18 percent of all greenhouse gases.

Eating green saves freshwater resources – Nearly 30 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)

Plant-based eating results in more sustainable land use – Three-quarters of all agricultural land is used for animal agriculture. 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 foods are good for you:

    • 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)

The benefits of a plant-based diet is being recognized by the medical establishment.  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

Many animals are mistreated for the sake of our animal-based diets.  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 that 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. 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+ Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents. Three key results from the survey are shown below (results include only omnivore respondents):

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 time and nutrition, which we will cover in the campaign.

 

Eating Green Campaign Kick-off

We kicked off our Eating Green Campaign on June 2019 at 7pm  at the Los Altos Library. Ocean Robbins, CEO and Host of Food Revolution Network gave a talk entitled “Healthy Food, Healthy Planet.”  Learn more HERE.

 

Eating Green on the Green Event

In August 2019, we organized an educational fair, held on the Downtown Green in Los Altos. The 150-200 participants had a chance to gain deep knowledge about the environmental, ethical and health benefits of a plant-based diet, and get information about how to incorporate more plants into their diets. GreenTown staffed the booths on the environment and on restaurants and recipes, Vegan Outreach and Clorofil provided information on the ethics of animal agriculture, and Debra Shapiro, a physician who recommends a plant-based diet, staffed a booth on the health benefits. In addition, we all enjoyed music from Sound Garden and sandwiches from Veggie Grill! Hope to see you at next year’s event!

 

Next Up: Eat for the Planet with Nil Zacharias

On Oct. 21 at 7pm, we will host Nil Zacharias, author of Eat for the Planet at the Los Altos Library. Register HERE.

 

Join Us!

Let us know if you’re interested in getting involved in the campaign. We’d love to have you! Email us at info@greentownlosaltos.org.

 

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. Physicans Committee for Responsible Medicine on Heart Disease.https://www.pcrm.org/health-topics/heart-disease

  6. Physicans Committee for Responsible Medicine on Heart Disease.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/