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Growing Food, Growing Climate Change: Why We Need an Agricultural Shift

What we eat has tremendous implications not just for our own health, but also for the planet.

Burger King has the meatless Impossible Burger. Del Taco boasts two plant-based burritos. Celebrities like J-Lo and Venus Williams have gone vegan. Seems like the message is out: eat more veggies and skip the meat. Not only for your personal health, but also for the health of the planet. Companies are responding to the demand for healthier and more sustainable foods. The intentions are good. The message is wrong. 

As a Functional Medicine physician and founder of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, I’m the first one to tell my patients they need more plant-rich foods, especially vegetables. I also support people who choose vegetarianism or veganism for ethical reasons (although neither of those diets guarantee healthful eating). 

My advice for everyone is to make at least half of every meal vegetables. In fact, we could reverse chronic illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease if we all started eating a plant-rich diet and avoided refined and ultraprocessed foods, gluten and most dairy. Research backs this up.