Our Work Diet & Agriculture

Diet & Agriculture

The food we choose to eat, how it is produced, and how much is wasted, will determine whether or not we meet the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Food systems generate at least 25% of human GHG emissions, including methane and nitrous oxides. We must now transition to net carbon sequestration, and away from unsustainable land clearing, water extraction, soil wastage, fish depletion and other impacts. This will involve changing our diets.
Strong evidence shows that diets rich in diverse plant-based foods and far less animal products, have both health and environmental benefits, particularly when combined with shifts to sustainable agriculture. However, current trends are the opposite. Worldwide increasing consumption of meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods will double emissions by 2050, contributing to irreversible climate tipping points and the decline and collapse of agriculture, and society, as we know it. In Australia, the average adult diet generates over 4 tonnes of GHG, eight times the sustainable limit. National Dietary Guidelines need to reflect these issues.

Doctors everywhere are in a strong position to bring about change, advocating diets that are healthier both for patients and for the planet.