A plant-forward future unites physicians and dietitians, environmental and climate change activists, animal rights and welfare advocates, and family farmers in creating a food system that supports human health, sequesters carbon, and ends farm animal suffering.
Plant-forward means moving plants to the top of the menu and to the center of the plate. It means moving all processed protein to its healthier, climate-neutral supporting role, and supporting farmers who nurture the soil and farm with compassion.
In practice, plant-forward food policies commit local governments to reducing their purchases of animal-based products by 80 percent, and to purchasing only meat, dairy and eggs from local family farmers who practice the highest standards of animal welfare and land stewardship.
IMPROVES HUMAN HEALTH
Plant-forward is better for humans
Americans eat too much meat and not nearly enough fiber, leaving us with less energy, susceptible to various diseases, and shortened life expectancies. Eating a plant-forward diet lowers your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, pneumonia and severe COVID-19. And for most people, replacing animal products with plants and minimally-processed, plant-based foods leads to a healthy weight.
To learn more about how a plant-forward diet will improve your health, and why fiber is the new protein, check out Dig Deeper.
REDUCES GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Plant-forward food and agriculture can help solve the climate crisis.
We hear a lot about the carbon dioxide we spew into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels for energy and transportation, but most of us know far less about the greenhouse that should be getting our attention: methane.
Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide in the short term, and since we must make rapid (short-term) reductions in emissions to keep atmospheric concentrations of all greenhouse gases below the threshold that will lead to runaway climate change, we need to reduce methane now.
And the most effective, least expensive and readily available way to do that is by reducing our consumption of animal products.
In fact, for an individual, transitioning to a plant-based or plant-forward diet reduces greenhouse gas emissions more than cutting down on air travel or swapping your gas guzzler for an electric car.
Check out Dig Deeper to learn more.
IMPROVES THE LIVES OF FARM ANIMALS
The little guy (or gal) in this picture feels his or her mother's love the same way our pets do. The same way we do.
But on a factory farm, baby pigs (and baby cows) are separated from their mothers at birth, cruelly depriving both from the emotional bonding, affection and love all mammals need to thrive.
Most people know little about the horrific suffering inflicted on animals raised on large-scale, industrial animal production operations. Adopting a plant-forward diet that includes either a small meat, dairy and eggs from animals raised by independent, compassionate farmers, keeps your food dollars, and your soul, out of this system.
Click on Dig Deeper to learn more about industrial animal agriculture and how it harms animals, contributes to climate change, and destroys rural communities.
SUPPORTS INDEPENDENT FARMERS
Why independent farmers are key allies in the plant-forward food movement.
The real heroes behind the plant-forward food movement are the farmers who grow the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds that make America's transition to a plant-forward food system possible.
And while industrialized animal agriculture has no place in plant-forward food systems, small-scale, independent farmers who raise animals with compassion, do.
The plant-forward food movement advocates for an 80 percent reduction in the number of animals raised for food; an end to industrial animal agriculture; and support for farmers who raise animals on the land and in conditions that allow for a life of contentment. We also advocate for farmers transitioning out of animal agriculture entirely and into farming plants.
Check out Dig Deeper to learn more about regenerative farming, compassionate agriculture, and the transition to equitable, ethical, and profitable farming.