You Have A Global Impact

Do you ever consider your impact on Mother Earth? Would you like to contribute to sustainable farming and a healthier ecosystem?

Every time you make a purchase, you are casting a vote. The first step is knowing how our food is farmed and what is in it so you can make a healthy choice that also benefits the environment. Food has long been a commodity. With this, our consumption has grown as well as our waste. To meet the global climate crisis that is approaching, lifestyle changes are necessary. We can begin with our food because what we eat has an incredible impact on Mother Earth.

“Depletion and contamination of natural resources occurs throughout the agri-food chain. Pollution and food contamination related to the use of production technologies and processes, as well as from the use of products aimed at increasing agricultural yields and facilitating food conservation, have significant environmental consequences. There are a number of important factors in agricultural food production and consumption that have significant impacts on the environment and human health. These factors include: soil biodiversity in agricultural food production, water use and water pollution, energy use, climate change, chemical usage, food safety, and biotechnology” (1).

Even small changes in what we buy and eat can add up to real environmental benefits, including fewer toxic chemicals, reduced global warming emissions, and preservation of our ocean resources. “From farm to fork, food production, processing, and transportation can accumulate enormous amounts of energy, water, and chemicals.” Besides its enormous carbon footprint, the meat industry employs other outmoded, unsustainable practices, including the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, monocultures, GMOs, and inhumane treatment of livestock. Industrial agriculture degrades the soil, water, and atmosphere on an unprecedented scale while harming wildlife and humans (2).

Another major problem with the way we currently produce and consume food is that more than 30 percent of food is wasted. That amounts to $940 billion in economic losses globally (3). With 7.6 billion people on earth, the demand for food is enormous and constantly on the rise. But we can change our diet and agricultural systems to heal the earth as we heal ourselves. Here are some tips to alleviate the impact and open a space for regeneration in our agri-food chain and the earth:

  1. Eat more vegetables. Vegetables have a much smaller carbon footprint than meat, but they also put us at lower risk for disease with the plethora of vitamins and minerals in addition to the fiber content. Try to fill your plate with 70% vegetables.
  2. Buy grass-fed, pasture-raised, wild-caught protein. It’s even better if you can purchase from a local farm. The farming practices are more conducive to a healthy animal as well as a healthy environment.
  3. Shop at your farmer’s market. This reduces carbon footprint in transportation. You also get fresher food while supporting small, local farms. And it’s even better if you can bike there instead of driving.
  4. Freeze your leftovers. Throw wilted vegetables in soup instead of tossing them. Minimizing the food we waste adds up over the course of the year, especially when you consider the number of people on the planet. Every little bit counts.
  5. Grow a garden. Planting your own food allows you to build a connection to yourself and the earth in addition to removing pesticides and herbicides from your food. This is an intense benefit to your health and to the environment.

Tell us what you will be planting for this summer.

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  1. FUTURE CHALLENGES OF PROVIDING HIGH-QUALITY WATER - Vol. II - Environmental Impact of Food Production and Consumption - Palaniappa Krishnan
  2. Eat Green. Feb 2010
  3. 2015. Food Wastage Footprint & Climate Change. Rome: UN FAO.
Calliope Tsoukalas Nutrition Counselor/Health & Fitness Writer

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