Avoiding Beef Can Improve Health, Avoid Diet- Related Deaths And Save Environment

'The evidence is clear, our food system needs to be transformed for the sake of our planet and the future of humankind,' WEF said.
'The evidence is clear, our food system needs to be transformed for the sake of our planet and the future of humankind,' WEF said. (Photo: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

New research made for the World Economic Forum (WEF), which took place at Swiss ski resort in Davos, revealed there are huge benefits if people switch from eating meat - especially beef - to alternative proteins. This move would help save millions of lives, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and good for human health and the environment.

WEF said Oxford Martin School's white paper, "Alternative Proteins," saw 2.4 percent of global diet-related deaths could decrease if people shun from eating beef. Rich countries could also prevent this problem by 5 percent if they do the same.

"The most positive effects are found in wealthier countries, where beef consumption is high and where there is a particular benefit of consuming more fiber," the study said, per the South China Morning Post. However, it didn't provide the number of people dying from diet-related causes or the disease or conditions that caused their deaths.

It also noted that the demand for meat might continuously grow as the global population is predicted to increase to 10 billion in the middle of this century. "It will be impossible to sustainably satisfy the world's future demand for meat," WEF's Center for Global Public Goods head Dominic Waughray.

He also added that everyone could help to improve global health without giving up meat in general. With products innovation, improving how dealers produce beef, pork, and chicken, and the consumers' effort to do "diverse diet," people could live a healthy lifestyle.

NDTV added the research examined 13 protein sources like beef, pork, chicken, fruits, vegetables, processed food, and other novel products. It found out there are disadvantages and advantages when it comes to nutrient intake when switching from meat to alternative proteins. But, it posed an overall improvement for health.

It also found out that beans, mycoprotein, and peas have the biggest health boost. It also offers the possibility to reduce the mortality rate by up to seven percent.

The white paper also emphasized the 2010 data that showed beef production alone contributes to the food-related greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter. So, the growing demand for this meat poses a huge danger to the environment.

Livestock farming endangers the Earth's atmosphere. It even poses a triple threat to the environment as animals produce great amounts of the greenhouse gas methane. It even added to the decrease of carbon-absorbing forests that removed the chance to "open grazing areas." A huge amount of water is also needed to maintain the livestock.

"The evidence is clear, our food system needs to be transformed for the sake of our planet, and the future of humankind," WEF International head Marco Lambertini said in a statement. "We are the last generation that can do something about this before the system collapses."

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