Campus News

Dietetics director shares diet changes for a healthier planet

Emma Laing, clinical professor and director of dietetics in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, spoke with U.S. News & World Report about diet changes that can be made to create a healthier planet.

Human food systems make up a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle and other grazing animals have a large carbon footprint due to the methane gases that they produce and the emissions that come from the production of their feed.

Experts say substituting chicken or turkey for beef and replacing dairy milk with oat, almond and soy milk can reduce a person’s carbon footprint and improve their overall diet.

“Incorporating more plant-based or plant-forward practices into an otherwise varied eating pattern would be beneficial,” said Laing of people that do not meet the recommendations of Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

“Eating a varied diet not only supports health but it also benefits the environment,” she added. “Having access to safe, nutritious and affordable foods within our food system—while conserving resources involved in production, distribution and consumption of foods—are important for both our health and the planet.”