Your Food and Climate Change

06 Jun, 2014

via Center for Food Safety

Climate change is bearing down on us all. But there are things we can do about it, some things that are quite surprisingly simple. Believe it or not, we can make a difference just in the way we eat and handle our food.

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Here are our five simple tips for eating climate-smart:

Grow and Eat Organic

Not only are organic food systems healthier for you and for the environment, they also help combat and are more resilient in the face of climate change. Regenerative, organic agriculture helps build fertile soil—one of the most important components of farming and a vital ally in our race to stabilize the climate. Organic agriculture works with nature and doesn’t rely on synthetic fertilizers or toxic pesticides, which are energy-intensive to manufacture and release two of the most potent greenhouse gases—methane and nitrous oxide

Eat Less Meat, Choose 100% Grass-Fed Meat and Dairy

Animals raised in animal factories, or “concentrated animal feeding operations” are fed grain—mostly corn and soy—that is grown using a fossil-fuel intensive blend of fertilizers and herbicides. Whereas one hundred percent grass-fed, pasture-raised, and organic meat and dairy are more humane, better for our health (they aren’t laced with antibiotic residue), and, if properly managed, restorative for the environment. Grasslands, an important feed source for livestock, wildlife habitat, and storage of carbon and water, cover 70 percent of the earth’s agricultural land!  If properly managed, they hold tremendous potential for storing carbon to help mitigate climate change.

Eat Fresh, Unprocessed Foods

Processed foods are often derived from genetically engineered crops, which, are primarily designed to produce pesticides and / or withstand direct application of herbicides, taking a toll on the climate. Food “processing” happens in large energy-intensive factories. In fact, processed food typically requires more energy to make than what we get back when we eat it! Additionally, processing and packaging go hand-in-hand, and a lot of plastic-based packaging is unfriendly to the environment.

Buy Local and In-Season

The average conventional food product travels about 1,500 miles to get to your grocery store – that’s a lot of greenhouse gas emissions to get to your plate. Buying local food at a farmers’ market or farm stand cuts that travel significantly and gives you an opportunity to get to know your local farmers and learn how your food was grown.  By eating what’s in season locally we put less stress on the earth to produce food at an unnatural time or ship foods from far away.

Compost and Reduce Food Waste

Food is the single largest component of municipal solid waste reaching America’s landfills and incinerators. In a compost pile, food scraps decompose with the help of microorganisms, and the food eventually becomes healthy, carbon-rich soil. Unlike a compost pile, landfills are compacted so tightly that food waste decomposes without oxygen (anaerobically) creating methane gas that contributes to climate change.

For more, check out the Cool Foods Campaign by clicking HERE!

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