For quite some time now, sustainability has been on our minds — and on the minds of major corporations (or, at least greenwashing is). But, this has mainly been in terms of plastic consumption and clothing consumption.
Not that this is a bad thing whatsoever — as individuals, and as consumers, we can take small steps to being more sustainable, and why not focus on our water bottles and straws, our wardrobes and washing machines?
One more thing that could help us be more sustainable? Our diets. No, not diets in terms of diet culture, but as in what food and drink we consume on a day-to-day basis. What we need to do, is eat according to geography and season — this is the key, apparently, to sustainable diets.
It’s not exactly a secret that the food we eat — in particular meat, and by that, we mean beef — has an impact on the planet. According to the minds behind No Meat May (you can figure out their cause pretty easily), “Significant research over many years has shown that eating meat and other animal products [is] one of the biggest contributors to global warming and the destruction of our environment.”
The latest research, which came out of the Institute of Environmental Engineering ETH Zurich — the same university behind research on thinning glaciers and AI keyboards — not only found that the composition of an optimal diet changes depending on location, season and personalised dietary needs, but they also developed a tool to help with it.
As in, a tool with “an extensive database of food items, nutrients and associated environmental impact” which could help you develop your optimised diet specific to you, in any given country, in any given month, according to Engineering & Technology.
The results from the tool indicated that, while test optimised diets were broadly similar, “There were marked differences in the detailed composition depending on country, season and impact considered, especially regarding legume choice.”
As for what the lowest impact diet involved? Unsurprisingly, local foods — as well as (a bit more surprisingly) imported foods, and fish. If you’re wondering about vegan diets, they only had the lowest impact when incorporating a supplement to meet nutrient needs (a fact that would not surprise many vegans).
No word on when we’ll see it on the App Store, though…