The food we choose to eat has the greatest impact on our environment over anything else we do. There, I said it.
Well actually Environmental Scientist Rebecca Blackburn said it in her brilliant book ‘Green Is Good – Smart Ways to Live Well and Help the Planet’ but I’m passing this important piece of information on to you.
Regardless of who said it, this statement really blew my mind.
I can recycle all the plastic bags I want, or take four minute showers for a week, but it won’t make as much difference as choosing a veggie patty over a beef patty to slap between my buns…of the bread variety people, the bread variety of buns I’m talking.
In her book, Rebecca identifies the top 5 simple ways to reduce our environmental impact through the foods we eat. These are:
Eating less meat
Land clearing, massive water use, soil degradation and greenhouse emissions are just a few of the reasons why eating less meat is a good idea.
Choosing organic and free-range products
Eating organically grown food means reducing the amount of pesticides we consume plus there isn’t any contamination of the water supply or the soil during the growing process.
Eating seasonal food
By choosing foods that are in season and grown nearby, there is a reduced need for refrigeration and freight which results in less carbon emissions compared to out of season food from far off places. Plus eating what’s in season tastes better and costs less!
Buying our food locally
Eating locally is beneficial to both the environment and our health, as well as putting money into supporting the local community and farmers directly.
Wasting less food
So much energy goes into getting food onto our plates; Growing it, processing it, transporting it, storing it, selling it. For it to sit forgotten at the back of the fridge, go bad and eventually be thrown out, it’s not just a waste of money, it’s a waste of time, energy and resources.
This top 5, in particular eating less meat, is a constant message that I keep stumbling across that what and how we choose to eat is what really matters in terms of our sustainable impact.
I know I can definitely improve in some of these areas and by focusing next year on finding easy ways to make these key points a reality, I hope to whip my food footprint into shape. I don’t want to say this is my New Years Resolution but… this is my New Years Resolution. By stating it here, it will keep me on the straight and narrow and hopefully I will kickass and inspire some people along the way.
Is there anything holding you back from making little changes to lower your food footprint?