Which food contribute to carbon footprint?

Food's carbon footprint, or footprint, is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food you eat.
In the US, each household produces 48 tons of greenhouse gases. Transport, housing and food have the three largest carbon footprints. Food produces about 8 tons of emissions per household, or about 17% of the total. Worldwide, new reports suggest that livestock agriculture produces around a half of all man-made emissions.

Changing the foods that you eat can have a big impact on your carbon footprint. And reduce pollution, preserve the environment and slow global warming. Many of these changes will also save you money, improve your health and even keep you fit.

For example, you need to drive 63 miles to produce the same emissions as eating one kilogram of beef.

Meat, cheese and eggs have the highest carbon footprint. Fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts have much lower carbon footprints. If you move towards a mainly vegetarian diet, you can have a large impact on your personal and global carbon footprint.

Most animals are raised in factory farms where they live in horrific conditions. The factory workers also suffer from poor wages and dangerous working practices. Factory farms are heavy polluters of the air and ground. The meat they produce is also polluted with superbugs. Over 3.5 million people get sick from eating 'dirty' meat every year in the US.

Vegetarians live longer than meat-eaters, they are slimmer than meat-eaters, and have a lower risk of getting heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.

Organic farming methods for both crops and animals have a much lower impact on the environment than conventional methods. Organic-certified farms must use natural methods for soil fertilization, weed prevention and pest control. Antibiotics and growth hormones cannot be used to raise food animals, and there are standards of care which prevent cruelty to livestock. Genetically-modified and irradiated foods cannot be labelled organic and its better to avoid these processes which are not proven to be safe for us or the food chain.

Water is a precious resource that is becoming scarce in many countries such as Egypt, Mexico, Pakistan and Australia. And even if you do not live in one of these arid countries, you may be wearing or using goods and consuming foods produced in those places, thus contributing to their water debt. One of the major impacts we can have personally is by moving towards a vegetarian diet, which requires about half the water to produce than a meat-based diet.

Think creatively about how you can reuse and recycle. Glass jars and plastic containers make great storage options. Take your own shopping bags and say no to plastic bags. Take reusable produce bags for your fruit and vegetables – if you use the ethylene-absorbing bags it prolongs shelf-life too. And when you can't reuse, make sure you recycle whatever you can.



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Saturday, 02 December 2023