Want to eat better, healthier while leaving a smaller Footprint?

Egypt may no longer be the center of pyramids. Because the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition is proposing a whole new set of pyramids: a food pyramid that not only addresses people’s health and well-being, but that is accompanied by a second pyramid addressing the impact of food on global warming and other resource demands.

The Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition realized that the health pyramid and the Ecological Footprint pyramid are the exact opposites: there is this overarching pattern that, mostly, the healthier the food, the lower its ecological impact.

Therefore they paired the health food pyramid with an upside-down environmental pyramid. The new “Double Pyramid” helps to communicate that food that should make up a larger part of our diets are also those with lower Footprints, and vice versa.

And guess what: the tasty traditional Mediterranean diet fits the bill perfectly: lots of fresh vegetables and grains, some olive oil, and if needed, a little bit of animal products.

To demonstrate the effect, they analyzed two typical menus: both balanced from a nutritional point of view, but in the first one the protein is of plant origin, while in the second one it is mainly animal-based. The vegetarian menu had an Ecological Footprint two and a half times lower than the one with mainly animal-based proteins.

What is your favorite Mediterranean dish?

(click infographics below to view larger version)

If we cut humanity’s current Food Footprint by half, mainly by shifting to plant-based diet and eliminating food waste, we could “MoveTheDate” by 38 days.