The diet to save the planet? Too expensive.

The diet to save the planet? Too expensive.

I talked to you in this article about the proposal of the well-known scientific journal The Lancet of an eco-sustainable diet , that is, that is healthy for humans but also for the planet. Researchers have dubbed it Planetary Health Diet (let’s say the diet for the health of the planet ) and you can already imagine what it consists of.

Fewer packaged products, more local food, more fruit and vegetables, legumes and cereals and fewer meat and fish derivatives.

But not everyone agrees with The Lancet’s proposal, indeed there have been a lot of criticisms in recent months. From those who say that the monocultures of cereals and legumes are killing the planet and its soil, and cows should go back to eating grass, point and stop, to the economic discourse.

This was perhaps the most debated.

To understand this you have to consider the problem of food on a world level, and in particular the states of emergency of countries such as South America, but also of countries with strong economic growth such as Korea. There is one thing that unites these countries, even if they are very distant from each other.

Junk food. Which is cheap.

In Korea, many families feed their children with instant rice noodles, which cost around 50 cents a pack.
In South America, for a few pennies, you can buy a kilo of white bread in a box or a huge packet of puffed chips or puffed rice or fried street food, such as plantains or tubers fried in bad oils. The result is that the plague of obesity affects the poor, which is by no means a contradiction.
Families cannot afford either the products of their land or in general fresh products.
And from here a series of experts have come to terms with the planet-saving diet in their pockets.
Discovering that so many could not afford it.


  • Already a first study appeared in The Lancet itself established that Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America would be excluded from the planet-saving diet. In short, quite a few people.
  • It would also be more expensive for Europe and the United States, because in theory cereals, legumes, fruit and vegetables should be organic and zero km, that is, not include transport costs and intensive land use. So for example the Milanese should eat only the stuff that comes from Lombardy, the Sicilian from Sicily.
  • The researchers of the planet-saving diet defended themselves by saying that there would be savings, but not immediately, but in the long term. In other words, local economies would be facilitated by cutting the costs of transport, plastics and other materials to package the products. But it’s hard to get people to invest in the future – especially if they don’t already have the money.

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