In the opening pages of Eat to Save The Planet, author Annie Bell muses about her childhood. Specifically, the weather – winters that were properly cold and seasons that were properly defined. Changes in weather and extreme weather events are a result of Global Warming. While it may feel like a topic, too large to take on at an individual level; it’s not really. “I may be one miniscule part of the whole”, writes Bell, “but I can still play my part, particularly through the choices I make about how I eat”.
That is where the Planetary Health Diet comes in. In Eat to Save the Planet, Annie Bell explains exactly what it is and furthermore provides over 100 recipes and a 28-day plan for eco-friendly cooking eating. It is a book that is both interesting and actionable. She provides tips on shopping, storage, food waste and information and resources on eating better, nutrients and adopting a Planetary Health Diet.
What exactly is a Planetary Health Diet? Let us explain….
The Planetary Health Diet
The Planetary Health Diet goes way beyond good nutrition. It treats our health and the environment as a common agenda. It tells us how we should eat not only to maximise our good health, but also to halt the steady degradation of the planet at the same time.
Bell explains that it does not matter what your dietary persuasion is, whether you are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or flexitarian. Nor does it matter where you are in the world. The planetary diet is ultimately adaptable and relevant to everyone.
What does The Planetary Health Diet look like?
The bedrock of the Planetary Health Diet is plant foods – whole grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and fruit.
It is similar to the Mediterranean diet in that it favours unsaturated oils like extra virgin olive oil instead of animal fats. It does include a small amount of animal protein, with the emphasis on fish, poultry with red meats as an occasional treat. However, much like a Flexitarian Diet, care is taken to choose free-range eggs and poultry, sustainable fish and meat.
There are recommended guidelines of food group to eat per day, which she sets out as follows:
|Beans and Legumes
(saturated and unsaturated)
As the above can be confusing to put into action (13g of egg per day equates to approximately 1½ eggs per week), Bell has created both recipes and a meal plan to help you translate the above into a doable, nutritious, and tasty meals, for example she has a chapter on one egg dishes which she suggests having one per week. By following her recipes, this way of eating can become second nature as you learn to understand what those portions actually look like.
Who Should Follow the Planetary Health Diet?
It is ideal for those who already focus on eating more plant foods; but who cannot imagine life without enjoying meat, poultry, and fish. For those who want to do so in a way that is healthy and supports the planet. While you may be eating animal sources of protein every day the quantities are reduced. In her recipes which are all within the guidelines, meat fish and poultry are savoured as treats, a luxury to be spun out with other ingredients. She manages this by combining small quantities of meat with plant food sources. An entire chapter is devoted to one egg dishes.
Those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet can also take pointers from the Planetary Health Diet by incorporating a wider variety of plant-based foods and adopting better shopping, storage and cooking habits that reduce overall consumption and waste.
If this is something you want to take on, Eat to Save The Planet is a wonderful resource that makes making better food choices easier and less intimidating.
Eat to Save the Planet was given to us by Pan Macmillan Publishers and is available here. Pan Macmillan Publishers nor the author approved or reviewed this piece prior to publication. Opinions + images are our own.