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India can lead the way in nutritious, sustainable diet, say experts
Food, mostly red meat, production has emerged as the biggest cause of land-use change, biodiversity loss, and natural water depletion and accounts for about a fourth of greenhouse gas emissions.

  Traditional Indian food that is largely plant-based with some red meat and fish can show the world how a nutritious and sustainable diet can be provided to the world's projected population of 10 billion people by 2050 without environmental degradation, said global experts who drafted the world's first scientific targets for sustainable nutrition within planetary boundaries at EAT Stockholm Food Forum 2019 on Wednesday.
"Grain-fed beef industry is the beginning of the end and India can show the world how traditional diets high in seeds, nuts, vegetables, whole grains and legumes can provide sustainable nutrition without wrecking the planet," said Johan Rockstrom, director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.
Rockstrom, along with Dr Walter Willet, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, is a co-author of the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health report that draws on inputs from 37 experts from 16 countries, including India, to conclude that providing nutrition and sustainability is achievable only by transforming eating behaviours, improving food production, and halving food waste.
Food, mostly red meat, production has emerged as the biggest cause of land-use change, biodiversity loss, and natural water depletion and accounts for about a fourth of greenhouse gas emissions. "As nations urbanise and people become wealthier, traditional meals are being replaced by Western-style resource-intensive foods high in calories, protein, and animal-based foods," said Rockstrom.
Dominant diets and food production are not nutritionally optimal. At least 820 million people are hungry worldwide, and close to 2 billion people are overweight or obese because they eat the wrong food.
The EAT-daily dietary plate consists of approximately 35% of calories from whole grains and tubers, protein from plant sources and 500g of vegetables and fruits a day, and 14 gm of red meat.
South Asia, including India, is an exception to meat consumption, with the majority eating half of the recommended amount.
Countries in the North America, by comparison, eat almost 6.5 times the recommended amount of red meat.
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