DENR urges Filipinos to switch to plant-based diet

Published July 11, 2020, 2:42 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), is urging Filipinos to switch to a plant-based diet aiming to help reduce their ecological footprint and help fight climate change.

To this end, the DENR has launched the month-long “Plant-Based Solutions for Climate Change” campaign coinciding with the celebration of July as Nutrition Month.

“Switching to a plant-based diet not only benefits one’s health, it can also help protect the environment due to the smaller environmental footprint plant-based diets tend to have,” EMB Director William Cuñado said in a statement on Saturday.

According to the 2013 study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, meat and dairy—particularly from cows—account for around 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions each year, roughly the same amount produced by cars, trucks, airplanes and ships worldwide.

Likewise, a University of Oxford study suggested that cutting meat and dairy products from a person’s diet could reduce the individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 percent.

Cuñado said a plant-based diet could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and land used for factory farming, which are all factors in global warming and environmental degradation.

“By gradually modifying our meals and shifting to balanced diets with more plant-based food, we have already taken part in reducing greenhouse gases, which in turn will help slow down the rise in global temperatures,” he pointed out.