How raw food can help you and save the planet

Not only is a vegan lifestyle good for you, it’s essential to protect the world that we live in. Luckily, Australians are buying into veganism more than ever before, but if you’re not yet convinced or you’re currently considering switching over to a vegan lifestyle, read on.

Did you know that according to Google, Australia was the most popular country in 2018 for veganism (followed by the United Kingdom and New Zealand)? The trend for veganism in Australia is certainly not slowing down, it’s huge, and our packaged vegan food market is currently worth almost US$136 million (set to reach US$215 million by 2020). 

In fact, if you decided to go vegan you would make a significant difference to the world that we live in.  That’s because researchers tell us that if the whole world changed their eating habits to vegan-only, it could save 8 million human lives in the next 30 years.  Additionally, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2/3 and avoid climatic damage of US$1.5 trillion dollars. Unfortunately, the chances of every human switching over to a vegan lifestyle is exceptionally slim, as you would imagine but as more and more people switch over to veganism, it will hopefully make a seismic shift toward a better planet.

That information should be enough to convince anyone to switch their hamburger to a delicious vegan-friendly bean-burger but there are so many more reasons why raw food is better for you (and the environment). Here are just a few of the sustainable and environmental positive effects of veganism:

  • It’s better for farmed animals. As an example, most chickens produced for consumption live in windowless sheds alongside up to 20,000 other chickens, not a pleasant life at all. 
  • Pigs bred for solely for their meat often live in less than 1 square metre of space.
  • We also kill up to 3 trillion fish a year (to put this figure into perspective, that’s about 400 times the human population on earth!).

It’s also cheaper; did you know that if you eat meat, your food shopping bill will likely be AUD 1180 more than a non-meat eating person’s shopping bill.

Going back to environmental issues, Greenpeace produced a report that stated:

global meat and dairy production and consumption must be cut in half by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate change and keep the Paris Agreement on track. If left unchecked, agriculture is projected to produce 52% of global greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, 70% of which will come from meat and dairy.

Just think, if you do your little bit to help the environment and enjoyed a plant-based diet, you could help to cut the use of land by 76%, the result of that is that greenhouse gasses and other pollutions that are caused by food production reduce significantly.  It also saves 20.4kg of grains a day and 9.1kg of CO2 emissions per day.  Even eating a vegetarian diet (not going as far as a vegan diet) helps to preserve 2.8 metres  squared of forested land a day – but we all need to do our little bit to make sure those numbers are met.

Yes, raw food is definitely better for sustainability. Choosing a vegan diet saves more than 4,200 litres of water a day.  If you just can’t face losing your meat, listen to Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN Panel on Climate Change who tells us that the best thing humans can do is simply eat less meat.

If fast food is your issue, well, lots of companies are really on-board with veganism. For example, Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs offer vegan ice-cream and even McDonald’s now has a vegan breaded pesto goujon wrap on sale! 

So those are just some of the positive environmental impacts when choosing a vegan diet but what about the health benefits?

Well, choosing a raw food diet can help you fight off disease and illness and strengthen your immune system.  One of the benefits (and almost unavoidable) is weight-loss, that’s because raw foods are lower in calorie density and higher in fibre.  They’re also low in saturated fats, have no cholesterol and contain essential vitamins along with antioxidants, phytonutrients and minerals.  Raw foods are also very hydrating because they are water-rich so they help your vital organs (including your skin) to stay youthful and vital.

Raw foods are also better for the food to digest (remember that big, bloated feeling after having a heavy meat-based meal?  That’s because meat takes much longer to digest).  The plant enzymes in raw food aid digestion so there’s less chance of bloating too.    Additionally, some foods that are eaten raw help to populate the gut with enzymes and gut flora keeping a healthy digestive system.  Then of course, raw fruit and vegetables don’t need much digestive energy which means that the body can heal itself better with the energy reserves left over, that results in a more robust immune system.

Here are some other interesting facts on the positive benefits of raw food for good health:

  • Veganism is linked to a 35% lower risk of prostate cancer
  • A high blood pressure isn’t as common for those following a vegan diet so heart disease and stroke risk is lessened
  • Vegans generally have lower cholesterol and lower BMI

Of course, there’s also the ethical reasons why raw food is better for the environment.  Some people simply don’t like to eat animals because they feel it is wrong.  Others prefer to support organic and sustainable farming, avoiding the big food corporations that advertise and promote processed foods full of chemicals.  

Then there are the beauty and skincare products on the market today. Vegan cosmetics are more and more popular than ever, with increases of 175% in just five years.  People no longer want to use products that have been tested on animals and the increase in Google searches for vegan make up was up by 20% from 2017 to 2018. Thankfully, lots of people finally realise the treasure trove of benefits that a vegan lifestyle brings, not only in food but in skincare and even cruelty-free, natural ingredients home cleaning products and more.  Veganism is no longer a “trend” it’s a way of life.  Will you make 2020 the year that you turn vegan?

Categories:
Health, Lifestyle

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