You may not realize this but what you eat not only effects how you feel but it also had a direct impact on the environment. Find out how what you eat if what you are eating is increasing the CO2 emissions and by how much in this article: “Are You Eating A “Carbon-Conscious Diet?”
Are You Eating A Carbon-Conscious Diet?
By Sam Greyhawk
When most people think about their diet, they rarely consider the environmental impact it may be having. Instead of the environmental impact, people associate more personal concerns with their dietary choices, concerns like convenience, calories and taste.
Food and the Environment
The food we choose to eat has an effect on the environment. While the impact may be small on an individual level, when combined the results are monumental. Livestock, such as cattle, are responsible for 18% of global CO2 emissions. In comparison to the 10% of global CO2 emissions released by automobiles, the impact becomes very clear.
A “Carbon-Conscious” Diet
A carbon-conscious diet is one that considers the environmental impact of food. In addition to the nutritional value of the foods consumed, you must also consider the life cycle as well. The life cycle of any food covers it’s production to it’s transportation, from consumption to the landfill.
“Carbon-Conscious” does not mean “Vegetarian”
While it is a fact, Americans who consume meat are responsible for an additional 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions per year than their vegetarian counterparts, a carbon-conscious diet does not mean vegetarian. While it may be easier to maintain a carbon-conscious diet as a vegetarian, it isn’t the only way. The following tips will anyone maintain a more carbon-conscious diet.
- Eat smaller portions to avoid wasting food
- Reduce your consumption of beef
- Reduce your consumption of imported foods such as cheeses or exotic fruits
- Consume foods that are “lower on the food chain” such as vegetables and grains
- Drink municipal water (filtered if that’s your preference)
Even as Americans have become more aware of the foods they eat and the implications these foods may have, many find it difficult to break their existing dietary habits. Changing dietary habits is never simple because it requires the breaking of existing behavior patterns. However difficult these changes may be, with ever growing environmental problems, they are important changes we each must consider.
Sam Greyhawk is an environmental evangelist working with Cool-N-Save™, an Energy Star Partner, to spread the message of reduce, reduce and recycle. Smarter food choices aren’t the only way to do your part in the fight against global warming. Saving energy helps too. (not to mention saves you money). If you have an air conditioner you can instantly improve air conditioner efficiency and reduce your monthly AC electric bill by up to 30% with Cool-N-Save™.
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