Food Blog

Positives of plant-based diets

No, we’re not talking about the fruit. We’re talking about New Zealand, where the University of Otago recently completed a study that once again proved the benefits that plant-based foods have on humans and the planet.

The pluses of plant-based are not news. But this study focused on New Zealand-specific foods and processes to test whether the Kiwis experienced the same level of benefits that other countries have experienced, and the results were nothing short of astonishing.

Substantially lower climate impact

Just look at the numbers. The study showed that if New Zealand residents consumed plant-based diets, the emission reduction would be like taking 59% of cars off their roads.

“As a general rule, the climate impact of animal-based foods, particularly red and processed meats, tends to be substantially higher than that of whole plant-based foods, including vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains,” said Alex Macmillan, PhD, the report’s senior author. “Fortunately, foods that are health-promoting tend also to be those that are climate friendly.”

A healthier and wealthier country

Examining the health side of the report, it proved that a mostly plant-based diet could result in health gains of 1 to 1.5 million quality-adjusted life-years (a single quality-adjusted life-year is equal to one year of optimal health). That would lead to cost savings to the New Zealand health system of between $14 billion to $20 billion.

“As our modelled dietary scenarios became increasingly plant-based and therefore more climate-friendly, we found that associated population-level health gains and healthcare cost savings tended also to increase,” said lead researcher and Otago medical student Jono Drew.

The many benefits of plant-based diets are repeatedly being backed by hard science, and consumers are taking notice. So, as the demand for plant-based grows, MGP is passionate about helping our partners create exceptional meat alternatives.

If you want to see how, check this out.

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