Eating Our Way to a Better Planet

Have you ever sat down for a meal, and wondered: where did all of this food come from?. Whether it’s been cooked by you or for you, processes that went into getting it onto your plate have had some kind of impact on the environment. Everything from growing and transporting feed for farm animals, to the methane produced by cows. Each part of the process has the potential to contribute to greenhouse gas emissions (and more often than not, does).

There’s a few things we can do that can reduce our personal impact on the environment. Every day we make choices that can positively impact the environment and society. Food is absolutely no exception. 

Know where your food comes from

Eating local, organic, sustainable (there is a difference), and in season produce is the way to go. Local Harvest and Seasonal Food Guide both can send you in the right direction around Aus for local markets and eateries.  

Knowing what ingredients are in your products is also important. Products such as unsustainably and unethically sourced palm oil have detrimental effects on the environment, and society.

When you know that food has been grown and sourced free of nasties, you’re doing wonders for the planet. 

Reduce waste

Globally, we produce enough food to feed every person on the planet. However there are over 820 MILLION people around the world who go hungry on a regular basis. It’s made worse by the fact that a third of that food produced getting thrown away.  

Food waste is more than just wasteful. We throw away money when we throw out unwanted food. Wasted food also means wasted time for farmers and wasted energy in production, transport and refrigeration. Again, it isn’t just a small issue. As food rots it lets out this stuff called carbon dioxide, contributing 3.3 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Less meat, less processed foods, more vegetables

You’ve probably heard it before but I’ll say it for good measure: eating fewer animal products is IMPERATIVE. Raising livestock for meat, eggs, and milk is estimated to contribute around 14.5% of global greenhouse emissions.

Not only is less meat in our diets a sure fire way to lower personal CO2 contributions, you will also get your body feeling fab. You’ll reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a bunch of other health issues.

Did you hear about the fires in the amazon recently? While they are absolutely not the only cause for concern, they’ve made quite the splash online. Deforestation to support agriculture has contributed to mass habitat loss for animals and has encroached on the homes and culture of countless Indigenous communities. Recent fires in the Amazon resulted from businesses clearing large sections of forest for agriculture. 

Food plays such a huge role in each person’s life. Everyday we have the chance to eat better. Not only will it leave you feeling better, it will make a small but significant contribution to helping fight climate change. 

Written by Emily Hodge

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