Why the world’s diet needs to drastically change by 2050

Can your individual diet actually nurture a more sustainable planet? The New Republic reporter and researcher Alex Sammon sits down with Walter Willett, co-chair of the EAT-Lancet Commission, to talk about the role that diet plays in climate change and if small changes to what we eat is enough to shift the global food system.

Willett explained the research behind the EAT-Lancet report, which defines what a sustainable diet looks like. It warns against eating red meat, sugar and refined grains and recommends a diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes.

"The challenge of this was to find a pathway to feed close to 10 billion people a healthy and sustainable diet by 2050," Willet said. "The task was so big almost everyone, including myself, really had a hard time getting our head around it."

The report goes beyond just recommending a healthy diet. Willet highlighted the set of boundaries that the commission set, which defines the effects of climate change like greenhouse gases, water consumption and environmental pollution. "If we continue to produce and eat food in the way we do, pollute and waste food the way we do, we couldn't stay within the planetary boundaries," he explained.

Watch the episode above to learn more about the EAT-Lancet report and how small changes in diet on a global scale can move the planet closer to sustainability. And watch the full Eating for a Healthier and Sustainable Planet event presented by Food Tank and Salon here

Food Tank is America's fastest-growing nonprofit research and advocacy organization in food and agriculture. Salon is partnering with the organization to educate and convene the good food movement around pressing food system issues. Learn more about Food Tank here.

Watch Salon's food-centered conversations with chefs and culinary writers and how-to recipe videos on our "Salon Talks" Food playlist..

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