Re:wild Your Fridge is a campaign to educate millions of people about the connection between what we eat and the health and future of our planet. It’s about finding out where your food comes from, understanding what it does to your body and your environment, and thinking about what you are willing to change – from a personal perspective to a systemic one.
What does your fridge have to do with biodiversity? Well. Forests are cleared to raise livestock and wild animals lose their homes. If we put every land mammal on a scale, more than 98% of the total mass would be humans and livestock. Less than 2% would be wild animals.
Did you know almost 90% of cereal grains produced in the U.S. in 2017 were used to feed livestock, not people? If we all ate more food grown from the soil, we would help protect the forests otherwise cleared for cattle and the crops that feed them.
It's the power of plants. We can grow more healthy food (plants!) for more people on less land than it takes to raise cattle. All while protecting forests and biodiversity at the same time.
If you’ve tried to eat more plants and found it difficult, please know it’s not just you. There are a lot of systemic factors that make this healthy and planet-friendly way of life challenging. We’ll refer to this collectively as “the system,” and here are just a few ways the system traps us:
There is a lot of lying. Milk doesn’t necessarily do a body good. You don’t need a steak to be strong (or “a man”). Pork is not “a white meat.” Insane public relations ploys abound. Contrary to popular lore, the United States isn’t feeding the world; it’s not even feeding America. But the big ag lobby will keep spending a lot of time and money to prop up these narratives and block policies that are better for better for biodiversity - humans included.
Our current agricultural system is not the one we want. The USDA recommends we eat a diet made up of at least 50% fruits and vegetables, but only 4 percent of federal farm-support dollars went toward fruits and vegetables in 2019 (compared to the 30 percent that domestic meat, poultry, eggs, and animal feed received).
It's how it's always been done. Many cultures and familial traditions revolve around meat and dishes that are heavy on eggs and dairy. But are some of the cultural and familial assumptions we make not really great for the planet (or us)?
Adopting a diet that is mainly or exclusively plant-based helps keep your weight in check, reduce blood pressure, and lower your chances of getting heart disease, cancer, and type II diabetes.
If that isn’t enough, here’s more: zoonotic diseases like influenza that spread from animals to humans account for 60% of all known infectious diseases and 75% of new and emerging ones. On top of producing 10 billion land animals for food every year, the United States is the biggest importer of livestock and wild animals in the world – a fact that puts our public health at risk.
Can we have our, um, meat and eat it too? Innovators are working on all kinds of alternatives – from growing protein in a lab to trying new sources (yep, crickets) to laying down the law. Here are just a few we found interesting, but follow us for new and interesting finds.
Also: check out this Foods of the Future episode of Planet Rewild, produced by Snapchat and Re:wild, about the future of food.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation in Australia.
The cattle and cattle feed industry are the largest threat to the Brazilian Amazon.
The United States is the largest beef producer and beef importer in the world. That's a problem.
Special thanks to the supporters of Re:wild, and this campaign in particular:
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