Time to green Singapore by changing diet

One of the most powerful ways that we in Singapore can green our country is by changing our diets ("S'pore pledges to rein in greenhouse emissions by 2030"; last Saturday).

Reports by the United Nations, such as Assessing The Environmental Impacts Of Consumption And Production, clearly place major blame for climate change on our species' consumption of animal-based foods.

Approximately half of the world's crops are fed to animals who must eat many kilograms of plant food to produce just a kilogram of meat.

This inefficiency results in unnecessary use of land and water, and produces dangerous emissions, including emissions of greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide.

When we talk about how Singapore can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, discussion often turns to switching away from fossils fuels and moving towards alternatives, such as solar power.

In the case of our food, we are fortunate to enjoy a readily available, perhaps even less expensive, source of alternative power. We can power our own bodies with the many plant foods available via a range of cuisines.

By switching ourselves to plant power, we can make a significant contribution to enabling our nation to fulfil its pledge of reining in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

George Jacobs (Dr)
Vegetarian Society (Singapore)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2015, with the headline 'Time to green Singapore by changing diet'. Print Edition | Subscribe