Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future 

Installment 11 of Creating a Sustainable Food Future shows that for people who consume high amounts of meat and dairy, shifting to diets with a greater share of plant-based foods could significantly reduce agriculture’s pressure on the environment. The central figure of this paper is a large data visualization across a two page spread. It outlines the various diet types modeled by the authors. Each column represents a type of diet. The first row shows how much plant vs. animal protein comprises each diet. The next row shows how much land would be needed to support that diet, using the same color coding as the pie charts. The final two rows show greenhouse gas emissions. At a glance, the reader can see that while beef may be a small wedge in peoples diets, it has an outsized impact on land use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Shifting Diets infographic

Each chart in the paper helps to build a case for eating less animal-based protein. One of the more compelling things I learned while designing this paper was the next chart, which shows that everyone in the world can get almost all of their daily protein requirement just from plant-based sources. Many people, especially in wealthier countries, eat more protein than they need.

People Eat More Protein Than They Need

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