Legarda on Starting a Low-Carbon Lifestyle: Go Meatless Once a Week

April 7, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda today said that one way to start a low-carbon lifestyle is to cut down on meat consumption.

“Part of climate change mitigation is the promotion of a low carbon lifestyle. Since meat produces more greenhouse gases, eating lower on the food pyramid is advised, which means less meat and more of whole grains, fruits and vegetables,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change.

Studies by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) show that 14.5% of man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from the global livestock. Cattles produce more GHG, particularly methane, than pigs and chickens.

Legarda added that food that comes from distant places utilizes more energy for transportation and preservation, which means greater carbon emission.

“Low carbon living means patronizing local, plant-based, and in-season food. I plant vegetables in my garden so I am able to eat them fresh. We should encourage families to plant vegetables in their backyards or community vacant lots, or to cultivate pinakbet gardens. This way, we do not only provide food on the table, but also address the needs of growing numbers of malnourished children,” she said.

The Senator cited the example of displaced lumads or indigenous peoples (IPs) in Surigao del Sur who have started an urban gardening project at the Tandag Sports Complex, which serves as their evacuation center.

“Even in the most difficult circumstances, our IPs are able to survive because of their indigenous knowledge systems and sustainable practices. Lumad evacuees in Tandag, Surigao del Sur have planted a variety of vegetable crops to establish a flourishing garden in the temporary shelter. They use organic farming techniques that involve the whole community and benefit them too. Our IPs are showing us how to preserve traditions and live sustainably. These practices must be emulated,” said Legarda.

“It could be a challenge to shift to a low carbon diet, but it can be done gradually. We can start by going meatless one whole day for a month, then every week, and so on,” Legarda concluded.