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How to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Following The Paleo Diet

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Is it possible for our planet to support 7 billion people following The Paleo Diet®? Unfortunately, no. Our planet’s resources probably cannot support our entire population if we all switched back to our ancestral diet of plenty of fruits and vegetables, natural (grass fed) meats, seafood, and some nuts and seeds.

But the rising number of diet-related illnesses indicates that something must change when it comes to how we produce food and how we choose to eat. How we produce our food can make a huge impact on the environment. The current standard practices for agriculture and livestock farming have several recognized negative impacts on the environment, including excessive water use, fossil fuel consumption, and increased greenhouse gas emissions.  

Fortunately, there are ways we can all participate in following a more sustainable, environmentally friendly approach to The Paleo Diet. 

Ways to Improve the Sustainability of The Paleo Diet

From an emphasis on pasture-raised meats to embracing the consumption of all animal parts; from organic farming to alternative sources of protein (like insects!), there are myriad ways to live a Paleo lifestyle while simultaneously reducing your impact on the environment.  

Phase Out Factory Livestock Production

There is no arguing that commercial livestock production stresses the land. But this doesn’t mean that all livestock will have the same negative impact on the land. With proper methodologies, ruminants can actually help preserve ecosystems, restore soil fertility, and recycle essential plant nutrients.  

Alternate Crops and Livestock On the Same Land

In fact, it has been shown that the most environmentally sustainable form of agriculture alternates growing crops and livestock on the same land. Crops can also contribute to carbon emissions, but if animals are allowed to graze on the land after crops were grown there, the animals will help keep the carbon in the ground and fertilize the soil to give a nutrient-rich environment for the next batch of crops to grow in. 

Shift Your Paleo Diet to Emphasize Fruits and Vegetables 

Some people believe The Paleo Diet is all about meat, but that notion isn’t true at all.

In fact, by volume, our recommendations for how to practice The Paleo Diet mean a diet that is more plant-based.

Shop for Pasture-Raised and Sustainable Seafood

Any of the meat Paleo followers consume should come from lean, pasture-raised animals or fish that have been farm-raised or sustainably caught.

Bring Back Nose to Tail

By embracing our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ consumption of entire animals from nose to tail, we can reduce the use of resources by wasting less of the animal. Plus, it increases our intake of a wealth of nutrients. 

The Paleo Diet Team

The Paleo Diet® team consists of a group of scientists, journalists, experts, and recipe creators who stay at the forefront of nutrition science.

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Background on The Paleo Diet

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