Urge for moving the world’s food system toward plant-based foods: IPBFWG
The International Plant-Based Foods Working Group (IPBFWG) has urged world leaders to set clear and measurable targets for transitioning from resource-intensive industrial agriculture to sustainable, plant-based food systems that prioritize growing food for direct human consumption ahead of the United Nations’ 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27).
The IPBFWG has praised the fact that Agriculture Day is one of the thematic days for the COP27 Presidency Vision, as well as the first-ever food pavilions, which will focus on making food systems healthier, more resilient, and fairer.
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‘It is admirable that the need to provide a food system transition towards health and sustainability is being recognized with the Food4Climate Pavilion at COP27 this year,’ stated Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director, Plant Based Foods Industry Association (India). Plant-based diets can help with many problems, such as sustainability, land degradation, biodiversity loss, climate change, health risks, and ethical concerns. We need to switch to a more efficient food system based on plant-based foods so that we can feed the world’s growing population. India is critical to the global food ecosystem, and we can collaboratively lead this change with the help of research institutions, governments, corporations, and consumers.’
The global food system is responsible for more than 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, with raising animals for industrial meat and dairy, as well as cultivating crops for feed, accounting for 57% of total food production emissions. To reach the goal of the Paris Agreement, which is to slow the rate of global warming, it is important to cut down on emissions from the food system.
Switching to plant-based diets and food systems can help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. It can also help people get the nutrition they need and reduce the growing gap in resources.
As world leaders meet at COP27 to talk about how to feed the world’s growing population in a sustainable way, the IPBFWG suggests that countries set clear and measurable goals to shift to a food system that puts plant-based food production first and encourages plant-based diets.
The world’s governments will use these basic goals as a starting point to make laws and rules that will help the switch to plant-based food systems.
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IPBFWG has also suggested that countries commit to helping farmers switch to more sustainable farming practices and crops (like plant protein crops) by giving and/or redirecting financial incentives to use the land for crops that people directly eat, setting clear goals for this change, and educating the public about plant-based foods through public campaigns.
They should also make sure that the rules for labeling plant-based foods give consumers the information they need to make smart choices. It has also been suggested to put plant-based foods on public menus and in national dietary guidelines. For example, schools and hospitals could offer plant-based foods.