Our Mission: The mission of the Planet Friendly Eating (PFE) team is to support the widespread adoption of plant-rich diets and reduced food waste as key solutions to reduce greenhouse gases and address the climate crisis.
Our Vision: Billions of people world-wide enjoying delicious plant-based meals at home, at work, in restaurants and in schools with minimal food waste.
Our Motto: Addressing the climate crisis one bite at a time.
PLANET FRIENDLY EATING ACTION STEPS:
The Planet Friendly Eating team has created a series of action steps that explain the importance of plant-rich diets and reduced food waste as key solutions to address the climate crisis. Other action steps provide simple solutions to transition to a plant-rich diet and reduced food waste. We invite you to try out the actions, to experiment in the kitchen, and to have fun.
Action 1. Study the various technology and behavior solutions to address climate change, including their potential impact and total cost.
According to Project Drawdown, plant-rich diets and reduced food waste are in the top 3 of 100 solutions to address climate change when implemented on a wide-scale basis.
Adoption of plant-rich diets and reduced food waste can be done quickly with no up-front costs. These behavior changes can result in immediate food cost savings and reduced greenhouse gases.
Learn more about the 100 possible solutions to climate change. Click twice on Scenario 1 in the link below to re-sort the list of solutions in descending order of global impact. Click on the words Reduced Food Waste and Plant-Rich Diets to read more about these solutions. Quickly scan the other 98 solutions.
Action 2. Study the carbon impact of various food choices.
Production of plant-based foods emits significantly less greenhouse gases than meat and dairy production. Enter different foods that you eat in a simple food carbon calculator linked below. Research the impact of various food choices by clicking on this Food Calculator.
Per the calculator, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with eating beef one-to-two times per week for a year is the equivalent of driving almost 1,542 miles in a gasoline car. If beans are substituted for beef, the number of miles decreases by 1,522 miles to only 20 miles.
Action 3. Decide on the best way for your household to adopt a plant-rich diet.
There is no one right way. Food choices are highly personal with many cultural considerations. You have probably been eating the same way for many years. Think about it. Talk it over with your family members.
You can choose to cut out meat and dairy one day per week which is the equivalent of a 15% reduction; be meatless before 6 pm; be meatless on weekdays which is a 71% reduction; or simply cut down the size of your meat and dairy servings.
Plant-based diets can be delicious, nutritious, inexpensive, simple or complicated, basic or creative. There are many types of beans, tofu, grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, spices and plant-based sauces. With some new recipes and cooking experimentation, you will find satisfying and healthy alternatives to some of your current meat and dairy dishes.
Action 4: Check out the Meatless Monday website and sign up for the weekly newsletter.
Meatless Monday provides resource materials, recipes, a weekly newsletter, and stories from around the world of cities, school districts, and organizations that are adopting Meatless Mondays. Weekly inspiration is scientifically proven to help in establishing and maintaining new habits. Click on this link to Meatless Monday.
Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns and works in cooperation with the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Their message is simple: one day a week, cut the meat. Their goal is to reduce meat and dairy consumption by 15% for personal health and the health of the planet.
On April 13, 2020, Sustainable Rossmoor proclaimed all Mondays as Meatless Mondays.SR-MM-Proclamation
The PFE team is working with Meatless Mondays (MM), and the scientists and nutritionists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Center for a Livable Future (JHCLF), who provide the nutrition and science for Meatless Monday. A link to the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is here.
Action 5: Encourage your friends, family, schools, employers, faith groups, civic organizations, and social clubs to adopt plant-rich diets.
Once you are comfortable preparing plant-rich meals, start talking with friends and family. Start serving plant-rich dishes at family and social events. Be ready for some strange reactions from your extended family. Explain why you are eating plant-rich meals. Ask your favorite restaurants to add additional plant-rich dishes to their menus. Suggestions on how to approach restaurants, cities and schools are available here.
The more people that embrace plant-rich diets, the greater the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Action 6. Cut your home food waste
Americans throw out $218 billion of food each year. Most food waste goes to landfill where it emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Moreover, all the labor, fresh water, fertilizers, processing, and transportation that went into growing or preparing the food is wasted.
Here are some ideas:
- Plan your meals to minimize over-purchase of perishable items.
- Many perishable items can be frozen to be eaten later such as raw broccoli and carrots (but not lettuce), cooked grains, bread and beans.
- Incorporate leftovers into new dishes, such as roasted vegetables on a salad.
- Mark a shelf or basket in your fridge “Eat First.”
- Store leftovers in glass containers so you can see what you have
- Eat the leftovers that you bring home from restaurants.
- Use vegetable scraps to make broth to cook grains, beans or other dishes.
- Consider buying imperfect produce at the grocery store so it doesn’t end up in the landfill.
- Research how to store food for optimum freshness and food safety.
- Compost all food scraps and food waste.
Action 7: Watch this fun music video and dance around.
Meat Free Monday by Sir Paul McCartney
Action 8. Read up on the science and policy suggestions regarding sustainable food systems
Several recent reports describe the great urgency required to reduce climate change, and highlight livestock production as a major contributor to global warming:
- The EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems concluded that a shift to a diet rich in plant-based foods will be necessary to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.
- The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) lists adopting a sustainable diet as a way individuals can mitigate the effects of climate change.
- A study published in Nature identifies food as a major contributor to climate change and environmental harm.
- The journal Climate Policy published an article that identifies a shift from animal to plant protein as an important way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help countries meet their climate change commitments.
Action 9: Join a Plant-Based Eating Group or attend a Veg Fest.
Look in the Rossmoor News for events sponsored by Plant Based Rossmoor, including delicious plant-based potlucks, educational movies, plant-based recipes, and more. Plant Based Rossmoor encourages whole food plant-based meals.
Look for a local Veg Fest in Oakland, Sacramento or San Francisco. The food scene is amazing and there are interesting talks, chef demonstrations, activists, book sellers and clothing sellers at the Festivals.
Action 10: Watch PFE members talk about “Eating Lower Down the Carbon Chain”
Dave and Amanda Casey speak at the 2020 Earth Day event sponsored by Sustainable Contra Costa (SCOCO) about their personal journey to eating less meat and more plants. This is a 10 minute talk starting Minute 30. Don’t miss the other speakers.
SCOCO sponsors the Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge and recommends reducing beef and lamb consumption in order to Eat Lower Down the Carbon Chain.
Action 11: Join or Partner with the Planet Friendly Eating Team.
For the health of our planet, we hope you will consider joining or partnering with the PFE team to accelerate the adoption of the plant-rich diets and reduced food waste strategies. The team has bi-weekly Zoom meetings during the Covid 19 Shelter-in-Place. We welcome all ideas and volunteers to accelerate adoption of planet friendly eating.
Please contact the chair of PFE, Dave Casey; firstname.lastname@example.org; 925-285-1461.
In late 2019, the “Upping Our Game” (UOG) committee of Sustainable Rossmoor recognized the need for additional strategies for greater local, national and international response to the climate crisis. The UOG generated 10 possible strategies, surveyed their membership, and the PFE team was formed in February 2020.
PFE originally planned an April 2020 Earth Month Food Fest and short video to launch our team’s activities. Due to the Covid 19-Shelter-in-Place order issued in early March 2020, PFE moved quickly to develop this webpage with action steps for Rossmoor residents to take at home. These actions steps include a review of the underlying science as well as simple how-to’s, including links to websites, reading materials and short videos.
Dave Casey is the chair of the Planet Friendly Eating team, Secretary of Sustainable Rossmoor, and lives in Walnut Creek, CA. Dave worked for 27 years with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in project management, environmental impact reporting, and right of way (land use). He previously installed residential and commercial solar systems. Dave was a team lead on a statewide software roll-out to 12,000 Caltrans employees. He worked in Ghana with the Peace Corps for two years. He graduated from University of California, Davis in Botany and did graduate work in Molecular Biology at SF State University. He is a Global Meatless Monday Team member.
Amanda Casey is a financial executive living in Walnut Creek CA. She has 25 years of experience working in high growth non-profits and publicly traded companies headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys working with teams to implement mission-critical software solutions, and analyzing financial data and operating drivers. Her passion is climate activism focused on behavioral actions by individuals, businesses, and organizations to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. She is a Meatless Monday Ambassador. In 1981, she delivered a speech in French at the European Commission on the effects of government subsidies on the market penetration of residential energy conservation equipment. She received her B.S. in Economics and French from the University of California, Berkeley, and was awarded a CPA license from the State of California.
Dr. Laurel Standley is an environmental chemist and author living in Walnut Creek, CA. Her research and activism focus on protecting water resources and reducing public exposure to toxic chemicals. Laurel is the author of a blog and self-help book on reducing personal exposure to toxic chemicals. She also writes fiction and is currently working on a dystopian, climate fiction trilogy, as well as a cozy mystery series under the pen name June Lucas. As a member of the National Academy of Science’s Science and Entertainment Exchange, Laurel advises authors and filmmakers on incorporating science into their work. Dr. Standley received her B.S. in Chemistry from California Polytechnic State University, a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from Oregon State University, and an M.A. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware
Marilyn Wilson is the dietitian on the PFE team. Marilyn worked for Kaiser Permanente in the Psychology Ward with people that did not want to eat. When the Psychology ward closed, Kaiser doctors continued to refer people to Marilyn. Two pediatricians loved Marilyn as she worked well with young children and teenagers. Marilyn likes people and found each person very interesting, so she greatly enjoyed her work. At school, Marilyn had been taught that you cannot get sufficient protein from plants, vegetables and fruit. She is very excited with all the new information about plant-based diets for health and environmental reasons.
Lena Birch grew up in Sweden and graduated from a Swedish nursing school. She moved to San Francisco in 1967 and, after her first baby was born, became interested in childbirth education and taught classes through adult education and at Kaiser. In 1982 Lena returned to Sweden to get a midwifery/BS Chemistry degree and then worked as a midwife in San Francisco and along the coast. In 1990 Lena added a Nurse Practitioner Certificate to her portfolio, worked at Kaiser, and for many years worked at the City of Berkeley Public Health clinic.Lena learned about a whole food plant-based eating in 2008 and decided to test this diet as a way to control her high cholesterol. Her cholesterol level declined in just eight weeks! Lena continued eating plant-based whole food and learned about the impacts of a plant-based diet on the sustainability of the planet and on animal welfare. She has met and continues to meet interesting and fun people through potluck events and whole-food, plant-based eating groups.