Earth Day: WWF calls for food turnaround

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Last Saturday, April 22, 2023, was Earth Day. In this regard, the WWF called for a nutritional turnaround to ease the burden on the planet.
On the occasion of the worldwide day of action for environmental and climate protection, “Earth Day,” WWF Austria draws attention to the great opportunity of a change in nutrition to relieve the planet.

WWF calls for a nutritional turnaround to relieve the planet
“Our current food system is responsible for one third of global greenhouse gas emissions and 80 percent of deforestation. This is compounded by massive land, water and energy consumption. We need to make our diets more sustainable to protect the climate and nature in the long term,” says Pegah Bayaty, spokesperson for sustainable nutrition at WWF Austria. The biggest lever for this is a significant reduction in animal-based foods because their production currently exceeds the ecological impact limits many times. In Austria, for example, an average of 59 kilograms of meat are consumed per capita each year – three times more than the maximum recommended by the Ministry of Health.

“Austria urgently needs a nutritional turnaround – both for a healthy environment and for people’s health,” Bayaty demands. The WWF shows how such a planet-friendly menu looks concretely based on the “food pyramid 2.0” – an extension of the current Austrian dietary recommendation. According to this, for a healthy, balanced diet with the least possible environmental impact, half as much meat, fish, and eggs and two-thirds fewer dairy products should be consumed than recommended. Instead, more legumes, nuts, seeds, and vegetable fats should be destroyed to maintain the energy and protein supply at the level of the current food pyramid.

To initiate the urgently needed nutritional turnaround in Austria, the WWF demands five essential measures from politicians: In addition to a reform of the food pyramid by the Ministry of Health, the governing policy must at least halve food waste by 2030, contractually anchor the protection of valuable soils to preserve valuable arable land, introduce nutrition education as a school subject and eco-socially redirect – for example by lowering the VAT on fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

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