Our planet is in danger. With all the commotion surrounding finding life on Mars, and space exploration in the likes of SpaceX and Virgin Atlantic, it is no surprise that people seem to have forgotten about the existing planet that already has life on it. The food we eat affects the climate, and there are no two ways about it. A quarter of the greenhouse gases that are produced annually are due to the food system. And if you consume food, you are part of the problem.
For those of you that can’t seem to link food habits with climate change, here are few ways by which it does. Hopefully, it might help you to reconsider your decision about having steak every Sunday night.
Here is how food production affects climate change negatively:
- Meat from cows accounts for 14.5% of the world’s total greenhouse gases annually. Methane from cows constitutes a majority, which is especially alarming considering that methane is much more harmful than carbon dioxide (almost 28 times).
- Most of the food grown to feed cows and other livestock, produce large amounts of nitrous oxide. Soybeans and corn are prime examples of these. Nitrous oxide is both, greenhouse gas and an ozone destroyer which is almost 300 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.
If it isn’t already obvious, our food habits contribute significantly to killing our planet. Sadly, this is not an accomplishment that we should be proud of, nor should we encourage it. All is not lost though. We can still save our planet, and the steps that need to be taken are fairly simple.
Changing our diet to affect climate change positively:
Become a complete vegan
The whole idea of veganism is to abstain from consuming animal products. This is in itself is the best possible solution to combat negative climate change through our diet. Many people assume veganism is a fancy less nutritious diet. Surprisingly, vegans can meet all their nutritional requirements with their food choices. Even the legendary Arnold Schwarzenner is giving is a go.
Become a vegetarian
If veganism seems too extreme, try vegetarianism. Many people wrongly assume that it is the same thing, but it isn’t. Vegetarians abstain from meat but do consume animal products like dairy and eggs. This is better than being a total red-meat person and is an easy transition phase for beginners.
Reduce animal product consumption
If you find yourself against veganism and vegetarianism, the best way to help the environment would be to reduce the number of animal products being eaten. Some people might find it hard to remove eggs and chicken from their diet. Reduce red meats as much as possible and replace them with lean meat. Reduce the amount of dairy being consumed while ensuring all the daily nutrition requirements are being met. One rule of thumb for people adopting such a lifestyle is to ensure that they fill three-fourth of the plate with veggies, and one fourth with animal products. This helps non-vegetarians cause less damage to the environment while satisfying their cravings or needs.
Reduce junk food intake
Junk food kills you and the planet. In addition to unhealthy effects it has on our body, processed junk food also negatively affects the environment. Land that is occupied for factories to produce such junk food can easily be replaced with forests that reduce global warming. There isn’t much to be said about this, and the facts speak for themselves.
Reduce food portions and waste
According to UN reports, 30% of the food in the world is wasted. Plastic waste and e-waste are damaging to the environment primarily because it does not decompose. With that being said, food waste in landfills also contributes to climate change negatively because they cannot decompose properly. This, in turn, leads to methane production that is harmful to the environment. Reducing food portions will help food waste and this will help the climate in the long run.
Food to include into, and exclude from your diet
7 Food that positively affects the climate:
7 Food that negatively affects the climate:
- Farmed Salmon
Adopting all the above-mentioned steps in terms of diet along with the reduction of single use plastic advocated by Sipping Green Ltd can bring about huge improvements that will effectively combat climate change. Instead of assuming that one single person cannot bring about huge changes, every person on this planet must take it upon themselves to do their part in saving the Earth before it’s too late.