ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Eating healthy is good for you and can help our planet as well.

Dr. Colleen Fogarty, the Chair of the University of Rochester Department of Family Medicine, discussed the link Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.

What does eating have to do with climate?

A United Nations report issued last year makes the link between human diets and climate.

The major areas to consider are:

Using fossil fuels to produce and transport food.

Converting forests for cattle to graze is a big concern. Forests in many parts of the world, particularly South America, are being cleared for cattle for meat production. Forests hold carbon and eliminating these forests release more carbon into the atmosphere.

Eating less meat can mitigate deforestation.

Why is this important to human health?

Many large studies over the years show that people who eat fewer animal products, like meat, have less cancer, fewer other types of chronic disease, and may live longer. Eating more plant foods shows the same pattern.

Now we know that this balance can help slow climate change too.

Why does it matter what I do?

Emissions of fuel and use of water can be cut if everyone cuts out some meat from their eating plan.

What are some examples?

Summertime has local produce—eating local saves “food miles” or transportation costs—check out a local market and eat some fresh vegetables!

Consider having a meatless day, or several meatless meals, per week. If you already have some meatless meals, can you add one or two more meatless meals?

Instead of bottled water, refill a pitcher at home or a water bottle you take with you!

Source: Special Report: Climate Change and Land, accessed https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl/

Eat less meat: UN climate-change report calls for change to the human diet. The report on global land use and agriculture comes amid accelerating deforestation in the Amazon. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02409-7