When people think about food and sustainability, they typically focus on how the food is produced—is it locally sourced, pasture-fed or organic? New WRI research shows that the question of what is eaten is just as important.
New research from World Resources Institute finds the average American could cut their diet-related environmental impacts nearly in half just by eating less meat and dairy. Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future presents solutions to the challenge of feeding a growing population by reducing animal protein consumption, especially beef, and helping shift billions of people to more sustainable diets.
To help shift people’s diets, we propose a new framework based on proven private sector marketing tactics: the Shift Wheel.
Like overconsumption of calories, overconsumption of protein widens the food gap. Furthermore, animal-based foods are typically more resource-intensive and environmentally impactful to produce than plant-based foods.
Overconsumption of protein occurs in all of the world’s regions, and it is rising in developing and emerging economies. In 2009, the average person in more than 90 percent of the world’s countries and territories consumed more protein than estimated requirements.
Food loss and waste costs the world about $940 billion a year. But if countries and companies set reduction goals, accurately measured their waste, and took action, we could significantly cut these losses.
While droughts, floods and increasingly rapid groundwater depletion are cause for concern, this year presents unprecedented opportunities to pursue better water management. Director of WRI's Global Water program Betsy Otto explains.
Companies, especially those with consumer-facing brands, have become increasingly concerned about the reputational, operational and legal risks posed by deforestation. So some are seeking out ways to root it out of their supply chains.
For better or for worse, plantation forests are here to stay. But through sustainable management and a "landscape approach," plantations can actually help contribute to the global restoration movement. Researcher Jared Messinger explains.
The cut-flower industry takes a heavy toll on the land, water and climate. Researcher Kathleen Buckingham explains.