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One steak a month to support the world's population – The Lancet



LONDON – As we get closer to the weekend, we're all likely to expect a good braai. But you may have to rethink what you put in that braai. 37 scientists who tried to find out how we are going to feed the ten billion people who are expected to grow the world population, have developed the planetary diet that, they say, will feed the world without destroying our planet. It does not totally eliminate most of your braai, but apart from that monthly steak, it only prescribes one hamburger per week and one chicken nugget and a half, as well as one glass of milk per day. And how do they sound 5 teaspoons of sugar a week? The vegans, have you noticed how many there are now? They will look at us with smugness, but if you adopt this diet, they will face competition in the vegetable and fruit aisle. And if you think you can ignore it, scientists plan to take their diet to states around the world and there is nothing that governments like more than finding a new way to tax us. – Linda van Tilburg

By Thulasizwe Sithole

The planetary diet is the result of a commission that brings together 37 scientists from 16 different countries to study how they could provide food to a growing world population that would improve human health and "support environmental sustainability." The study published in the British medical journal, the Lancet The scientists perceived that human health and the environment were being threatened by the world population, which is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050 and that "unhealthy diets pose a greater risk for morbidity and mortality than sex unsafe, and alcohol, drugs and tobacco use combined. " Add to this the fact that most of the world is undernourished. The scientists felt that "a global transformation of the food system was needed".

The diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and saturated oils. But a low to moderate amount of seafood and poultry … and no low amount of red meat, added sugar, refined sugar, refined grains and starchy vegetables. The goal is 2,500 calories per day.

Scientists recognize that their 2,500-calorie-per-day diet plan would require "substantial changes in diet, including a reduction of more than 50% in the global consumption of unhealthy foods, such as red meat and sugar." In addition, a duplication would be required. The consumption of healthy foods such as nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes.

And there is also a recommendation for a major change in how food is produced in the world. Among the recommendations is that the use of fertilizers with nitrogen and phosphorus should be redistributed, the use of fertilizers and water should be more efficient and recommend "the rapid implementation of agricultural mitigation options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

The co-author of the report, Professor Johan Rockstrom of the Swedish Resilience Center in Stockholm, says that what is needed is a new world agricultural revolution because "humanity now represents a threat to the stability of the planet".

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