I don’t know about you, but I have found it hard to navigate my own diet and define it in a world of never-ending debates between meat-eaters, pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans. If you feel a bit lost and like you cannot commit to ditching some ingredients all together we may have a solution for you. It’s called the Climatarian diet.
What is a Climatarian Diet?
Being a Climatarian is really a lifestyle. It is about trying to find a balance by following a diet designed to cut CO2 emissions which does not ban ingredients per se, but concentrates on finding more sustainable and healthier alternatives for our own physical and mental health while accounting for the well-being of the planet. In short, the Climatarian diet sort of aligns with the Swedish “Lagom” philosophy as it stands for having just the right amount of what we need, in balance.
Why you may want to adopt it?
Food-related emissions could be cut in half by changing our diets to eat more climate-friendly food, also known as The Climatarian Diet, or as we like to say “Klimatorian”. Choosing a sustainable diet for yourself and the planet is not as straightforward and black or white as ditching meat, fish, dairy and eggs altogether. Actually, if I were to simply swap meat in favour of greenhouse-grown vegetables flown thousands of miles to reach my local supermarket, it might actually increase my carbon footprint.
Here are a few pointers on how you can easily implement a Climatarian diet and foster benefits for the planet:
- Lentils or cauliflower instead of ground beef. By substituting ground beef in recipes like bolognese, tacos, lasagna, pizza toppings with lentils and/or cauliflower mix, the carbon footprint is reduced by approximately 97% per serving.
- Tofu instead of shrimp. By replacing shrimps with tofu, you can reduce the carbon footprint of a dish by up to 8 times.
- Nutritional yeast instead of yellow cheese. Nutritional yeast has roughly 88% lower carbon footprint than parmesan or other yellow cheese, and can thus reduce the final carbon footprint of a dish significantly.
The Climatarian diet can help to reduce the likelihood of certain conditions such as high blood pressure and autoimmune disease. Here are a few health facts:
- Lentils.Cooked lentils are a rich source of numerous essential nutrients, including folate, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Oh and did we mention it’s delicious?
- Tofu. Tofu is high in protein, about 10.7% protein in firm tofu and 5.3% in soft “silken” tofu. With about 2-5% fat respectively, it’s a real fitness buddy.
- Jackfruit. Unripe jackfruit has a mild flavour and meat-like texture. The edible pulp is 74% water, 23% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat. In a 100-gram portion, raw jackfruit provides 400 kJ (95 kcal), and is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin B6 (25% DV). It contains moderate levels (10- 19% DV) of vitamin C and potassium.
If you want to know where we got our numbers from and know more about being a Klimatorian, check out the Klimato report.
Does it feel overwhelming and confusing to try to follow a Climatarian diet? It is not about making perfect choices all the time, because that is neither realistic nor durable overtime. Being a Climatarian means being aware of the impact of our food choices and the efforts we can do to continuously limit our impact on the climate.
As we do not all have a PhD in calculating and assessing carbon footprints, Klimato helps guide and educate individuals to point us in the direction to choose more climate-friendly and healthy meals. Enabling us to be Klimatorians, and preserve and care for our planet, one meal at a time.