Eating Does It: Healing Ourselves and Our Planet With Food asserts that the most effective action any person can take to address the world’s biggest problems is through diet. A whole-food, plant-based diet combats both climate change and rampant chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers, without waiting for big policy changes, international cooperation, or costly drugs or medical procedures—and it’s free. This healthy diet emits the least greenhouse gasses, uses the least amount of our limited resources, and is our most accessible tool to heal and maintain health, inside and out.
Section I sets the table for the main course of Eating Does It by understanding boundaries. Like the human body, Earth has its limits, and climate change is pushing our planet into a chronic state of disease. Several basic concepts are explored, including greenhouse gasses, the carbon cycle, and how to benefit both our health and the planet’s by eating efficiently. Sorting out reasonable approaches starts with science, which is the best tool we have for tackling uncertainties and guides us toward solutions. Readers are provided with a primer in critical thinking to use on any claim concerning the relationship between food and climate change they read in the news or on social media and learn simple tips to decide for themselves whether a particular claim is valid or unsubstantiated.
Section II illuminates how climate change and common chronic diseases are impacting various regions, as one interacts with the other to amplify their effects. Tectonic plates from North and South America to the Arabian and Asian plates are featured in individual chapters, each serving up a course clarifying climate repercussions and disease mechanisms. For example, South America serves a menu of deforestation, cows, and kidney disease, while the Arabian plate offers an olive branch and an oil slick around the Mediterranean. Each chapter ends with delicious food—simple, regionally inspired recipes for anyone to kickstart a healthier lifestyle.
Section III of Eating Does It offers solutions—a menu of personal, national, and global actions served up by the author, plant-based nutritionist Kathryn Pollard, as an antidote to the overwhelming problems we face. She empowers readers to make big improvements, one bite at a time. In this compelling guide, Pollard and her climatologist collaborators dish up the simple science and health information people need to make transformative food choices for their well-being and the future of our warming planet. Just eating can do that.