How Plant-based Diets Help Break The Vicious Cycle Of Cheap Food

Feb 08, 2021 07:53 AM EST | By Kristine M. (

With its enormity, and although it affects us, not many are aware of how the global food system operates. This is the elaborate process of production, processing, and distribution of food throughout the world. In short, this is how the whole world is fed. However, like any other system, it is not perfect and has its share of adverse effects.

According to Future Learn, the global food system has a profound impact on our environment. Many of which are closely tied to the use of natural resources. Greenhouse gas emissions are the result of the use of fossil fuels and converting of the forest to farmlands. Meanwhile, the reduction of marine biodiversity is a result of overfishing.

However, with every problem presented, there is also a possible practical solution. Experts are claiming that plant-based diets can help break this cycle of adverse effects brought about by our current global food system. Reports indicate that shifting to plant-based diets can help restore our ecosystem. 

How Plant-based Diets Help Break The Vicious Cycle Of Cheap Food
(Photo : Getty images / Leon Neal )

Meat Alternatives For Sustainability

According to Food Ingredients First, animal farming is referred to as our single most risky human behavior. Studies made by ProVeg International found links between animal farming and the outbreak of pandemics. 

However, the same report indicates that shifting to meat alternatives could be the best solution. The claim was supported by Innova Market Insights, which named plant-forward as the top trend for this year. This shift can benefit dietary health around the world and help reduce the risk of pandemics.

Read also: Move Over, Cocoa Bombs! Tea Bombs Are the New Food Trend Taking Social Media by Storm

Cheap Food Paradigm

Over the years, our global food system has been structured by a paradigm of cheaper food. However, it seems like the reason for this is policies and economic structures that can produce cheap food but through environmentally degrading practices. 

In addition, consumers believe that the behavior of manufacturers and the government are mostly interest-driven. The best example is the reports from Chatham House indicating that the global agricultural output has risen enormously since 1960, and so is calorie production.

It was revealed that the increase was not due to land expansion since land used for agriculture increased by only 10% globally. Instead, the said increase resulted from intensifying the agricultural process by producing more food per hectare of land.

At the start of the plant-based revolution, it was seen as a more expensive option compared to meat. However, according to VegNews, plant-based meat alternatives may start to become more affordable in the coming years. With surging demand, plant-based food producers are seeing opportunities to make production more efficient that will make it more affordable to consumers.

How Plant-based Diets Help Break The Vicious Cycle Of Cheap Food
(Photo : Getty images / Tom Cooper )

Mitigating The Next Possible Outbreak

With the excessive agricultural practices that we currently have, there has been a significant reduction of landscapes and habitats. As a result, this has been destroying the breeding, feeding, nesting of birds, mammals, insects, and microbial organisms.

In addition, the reduction of forested areas brings new animal species into contact and competition with each other. This can result in the emergence of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

The shift to plant-based alternatives can help reduce these practices and allow the restoration of the environment's biodiversity.

Related article: Here Are 7 'Bad' Foods That Are Surprisingly Good for You

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