ProVeg International is working to reduce global meat consumption by 50% by 2040 and shift to a more resilient, sustainable and plant-rich food system.
Raphael Podselver, United Nations Advocacy Officer for ProVegexplains to Food Tank that there is an urgent need to “drastically” reduce the consumption of animal protein to support human and planetary health.
Industrial animal production is linked to a number of problems, ranging from deforestation and pollution for antibiotic resistance. Podselver notes that reduction targets will vary by country and region, but stresses that “it is really important to recognize the urgency of ending industrial agriculture in the years to come.”
Podselver says it’s inspiring to see younger generations recognizing the climate implications of meat production. But according to him, it will be necessary for everyone to take measures to reduce their consumption of animal products. “We must [get] everyone aboard,” he said.
Podselver believes that most consumers will not base their purchasing decisions solely on the environmental impact of production methods. He also recognizes that changing consumer eating habits is difficult. “Availability and affordability play a big role, as well as taste,” Podselver told Food Tank.
This is why emerging plant-based meat substitutes are an important part of what Podselver calls the “solutions landscape”. These products provide consumers with options they can easily incorporate into their meals, even when time is limited.
ProVeg is also pushing governments to take action and factor food and agriculture systems into their greenhouse gas emissions targets. Podselver says food systems didn’t feature prominently at the recent UN Environment Assembly, and he hopes that will change at future global conferences, including the UN Climate Change Conference (COP). 27) of this year.
Listen to the full conversation with Raphael Podselver on “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg” to learn more about how industrialized meat production is driving the climate crisis, ProVeg’s efforts to put food systems agriculture on the COP 27 agenda and Podselver’s call for “diet change, not climate change.
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Photo courtesy of Etienne Girardet, Unsplash