Global food production contributes around a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and Australia was recently flagged as one of the countries with the greatest potential to reduce diet-related greenhouse gas emissions. In Darwin our opportunity is even greater: approximately 97 % of food consumed here is produced interstate or internationally. By changing this balance to locally-produced foods, we have the opportunity to massively reduce the transport emissions caused by our food consumption. Decreasing the amount of meat and meat products further reduces our impact on the environment.
Both meat and dairy production are extremely water intensive. Reducing our water use is also critical as climate change is already reducing and altering rainfall patterns across the country.
Insects are also climate-friendly alternatives, for those who can stomach them. If not, other viable non-meat protein sources abound, including legumes, nuts, seeds (think quinoa, chia), wholegrains, eggs—and even nutty-flavoured hemp.
For hardy Top End eco-diet pioneers, cane toad legs are also safe and nutritious.
Research shows that a healthy, plant-based diet is not only affordable, but cheaper than the typical Australian diet.