To understand health and ecology, extensive basic knowledge is required. Here you will find fact-based texts and book reviews.
Our future depends on our actions today. It is important that as many people as possible consciously move towards a plant-based diet in order to maintain good health. At the same time, this promotes general structural changes for a sustainable diet - with the target dimensions environment, health, social affairs and animal welfare.
Through a healthy and nature-friendly diet, people have the opportunity to reduce the environmental impact. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in 2016, dietary changes toward more plant-based diets that are in line with standard dietary guidelines could reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 29-70 % compared with a reference scenario in 2050.12
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.2
Health and illness are the result of numerous and very different factors that are not always in our control. Depending on the initial genetic constitution, one person can afford a lot of unhealthy things and does not get ill, while another person will sooner or later develop a so-called lifestyle disease.
We can make a positive contribution to our health by eating a targeted and healthy diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. However, there are rare endogenous factors such as genetic mutations that can result in serious diseases. In addition, exogenous stressors such as exhaust fumes, chemicals, allergens or substances that we ingest through food put a heavy strain on our body. This is why proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are really important.
In addition, you should avoid all intoxicants, as they can damage the immune and nervous systems. This includes alcohol abuse and smoking.3,4
Damage often accumulates unnoticed over decades until the body can no longer compensate. As the body can cope with damage for a very long time without any noticeable effects, you never know if you are really healthy - and for how long. This also applies to an unhealthy diet.
It is almost impossible to lead a climate-friendly life with the current predominant diet. The food system is responsible for 1/3 of all man-made greenhouse gases worldwide. Land use, agriculture and processes such as processing, packaging, transport etc. contribute equally to this one third of the emissions.5
The next graphic shows the connection between different diet types and the CO2-eq. savings potential in gigatons per year. This information reflects the technical savings potential up to 2050 as described in the literature and includes the effects of carbon sequestration through land saving (IPCC 2019).6 This graphic points out that of all the efforts we humans make, changing our diet has the greatest impact. This is especially true when we cultivate a plant-based diet. Below, you can see the details of these conversion options in the context of the ecological impacts.
Vegan: Purely vegetable. Combination of vegetables, legumes, fruits, seeds (cereals and pseudocereals) and nuts.
Vegetarian: Plant-based plus eggs and dairy.
Flexitarian: Cereals and legumes replace 75% of meat and dairy consumption; at least 500 g of fruit and vegetables and at least 100 g of plant-based protein sources daily, moderate amounts of animal proteins and limited amounts of red meat (once a week), small amounts of refined sugar (less than 5% of total energy).
Healthy Eating: Global dietary guidelines for the consumption of red meat, sugar, fruit and vegetables.
Fair and economical: Global daily per capita calorie intake of 2800 kcal/capita/day (11.7 MJ/capita/day) and little meat.
Pescetarian: Vegetarian diet (dairy products and eggs, but no meat) with seafood and fish.
Climate and Meat: 75% of ruminant meat and dairy products replaced with other meat (e.g. chicken).
Mediterranean: predominantly vegetables, fruits, grains, sugars, oils, eggs, dairy, seafood, moderate amounts of poultry, pork, lamb and beef.
The climate goals require fundamental structural changes in our eating habits, taking into account the interrelationships between ecological, social, political, cultural and economic aspects.
With regard to a sustainable food system, the European Commission proposes climate-friendly transformations in the areas of production, processing, distribution of goods, consumption and the avoidance of food waste. Areas that sometimes sound controversial (e.g. production and consumption, agroecology and industry, technology and social affairs) can also show possible solutions when considered together.7
EE summarizes targeted measures as follows: This is, for example, fruit and vegetables from organic farming that are as regional as possible, or farms with the concept of "solidarity-based farming". The focus is on working methods that protect the soil, improved irrigation methods, attention to animal welfare and purchase guarantees for farmers.
If we choose organic food, we also avoid chemical inputs, such as broad-spectrum herbicides including glyphosate (brand name Roundup). Glyphosate is the world's best-selling herbicide today. It enters the cycle through food and feed and has serious consequences for us, animals and plants.
The term "Life Cycle Assessment" refers to a standardized method for determining the life cycle of a product in the form of quantitative results. From beginning to end, known as "cradle to cradle" (after Braungart and McDonough), i.e. consistently "from birth or cradle of one generation to the cradle of the next generation". This approach is also known as life cycle analysis. You can use it to record and evaluate environmentally relevant processes, e.g. of products. The creation of life cycle assessments is defined according to the German standards DIN EN SO 14040 and DIN EN ISO 14044.8
The concept of sustainable nutrition is multidimensional. Thus, there are different perspectives that allow us to assess the value of a food. The term "compatibility" is used in this context. Depending on the dimension, one speaks of health compatibility, social compatibility, economic compatibility or environmental compatibility.
Environmental compatibility or the ecological footprint is measured using known methods such as CO₂ footprint, water footprint (water consumption) or sustainability ratings. These calculation methods aim to make the limits of our Earth's biocapacity measurable. One aspect could be covered with sustainably oriented systems such as ecological agriculture.9 The concept of environmental compatibility is also called planetary health and is a new, multidisciplinary research paradigm. Planetary health describes a comprehensive concept of health along with an emerging field of health science. It focuses not only on the health of humans, but also on the health of other living beings and all ecosystems.10 This concept of planetary health was developed by the "Rockefeller Foundation - Lancet Commission on Planetary Health" in 2015.11 The Club of Rome, founded in 1968 with experts from 36 countries, aimed to shake us up with its report "The Limits to Growth" from 1972.
In order to draw attention to these necessities, we show the seasonal availability for as many foods as possible. In this way, we intend to create awareness of when a product is commercially available regionally, and when it had to be imported by local transport or even ship or plane.
What is healthy eating? How do you get proper exercise? What are the reasons for that? We answer these questions through detailed book reviews and other fact-based basic texts, which you can access via the following link. We have sorted these texts by importance:
EE: Think of the body as a complex factory that assembles complicated and varied products, where the individual parts should arrive "just in time"; and in the right quantity, not too much or too little, because that would slow down the process or leave the product incomplete. The optimum of all components needs to be achieved and never the maximum. That is why you will always find several nutrient tables with our recipes and foods - as well as the reference to the article "A vegan diet can be unhealthy", which gives you an understanding of the most important basics in brief.
We provide you with additional information in the following sections:
The link below will take you to interesting and important videos. These have the advantage that certain connections are explained directly to you, e.g. about health, nutrition, sport and other aspects that promote our health. In addition, it is important to us that people also know about animal welfare and threats that make our Earth uninhabitable for us (and for many other species).
You can filter the videos according to the duration (under 7, 15 and 30 minutes as well as over 30 minutes), the title, the producer or the various categories and platforms.
The link below shows shorter texts (general posts) such as reader testimonials and messages of different kinds about health and nutrition. These are not as long and detailed as the basic knowledge articles (with detailed book reviews). You will also read articles here on how to achieve healthy and good sleep - a problem that unfortunately more and more people are struggling with and which affects our quality of life.
Currently, we have very few book reviews (in German) because we are working intensively on the descriptions of foods, but we would like to expand this later on. In addition, we are going to translate the book reviews to other languages.
On the other hand, we have comprehensive book reviews (only in German). These reviews take the form of long abstracts, covering the book's most important information.
In the case of the basic texts, the descriptions of foods and nutrients, we quote numerous scientific studies or scientific works on which we base ourselves. We have only published a few of them as abstracts with our own description. Wherever this is the case, we provide a link to the scientific work (at least to the original abstract, mostly in English). The list of these works appears under the following link:
These are not really basics, but practical applications. We also mention this topic in the recipes, but we want to provide a direct insight here too.
We provide descriptions of about 75 vegan recipe books, from which we have presented mostly 3 recipes each (vegan recipes). We also describe some other recipe blogs.
You will find reviews of these books and blogs (written by us) that highlight particularly good elements, but also point out health faux pas. This is necessary because many authors focus on appearance or taste rather than health aspects. Reason: It is commercially almost necessary.
This link takes you to all the recipe books we have discussed. For those who are only interested in raw vegan food, here is the direct link: Raw Food Recipe Books. However, you can also restrict the selection using the main link and by activating the checkbox "Only raw food recipe books". These books are interesting to all, not only for raw food lovers! In addition, we mention some good raw food recipe blogs.
Please note that we don't sell anything and we don't bother you with ads either! Instead, our website offers hundreds of vegan food recipes and descriptions of vegan foods (ingredients), each with a list of their nutrients.