Today is Blog Action Day, an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. This year’s topic is climate change.
Most people have heard of Carbon Footprint … but what about FoodPrint?
The Cool Foods campaign’s “FoodPrint” reflects the total amount of greenhouse gases that have been created as a result of the growth, processing, packaging, and transportation of any given food. By making better choices, consumers can have significant impact. This website is a great resource for facts and how to make better choices.
Here are a few things I do that reduce my FoodPrint:
1. Eat less meat. I am by no means a vegetarian, but I do eat less meat. I read one fact that said US meat consumption would need to drop by nearly two-thirds by 2050 to stabilize livestock-related greenhouse gas emissions. If we all ate just a bit less meat it would certainly help.
2. Eat more food that’s seasonal and local. Locally grown food travels less to get to your plate, so there’s a smaller carbon footprint. (This is not always the case, but typically).
3. Eat organic. According to the EPA synthetic fertilizers sprayed on cropland are responsible for emitting 647 million pounds of nitrous oxide per year.
4. Eat less processed food. A whole lot of fossil fuel goes into processing sweets, drinks, etc with low nutritional benefit. Cut out the processing and it reduces fossil fuels, thereby reducing emissions. Plus don’t forget the packaging on packaged food. In 2004 the Dept. of Energy reported that the food processing and packaging sector is one of the top 5 users of energy in the U.S., using almost 14 billion gallons of gasoline every year.
5. Grow more of your own food. I had my first veggie garden this past summer. The food I grew 20 feet from my backdoor certainly didn’t have far to travel to get to my plate and it was grown without pesticides, etc.
There are lots of good reasons to be more conscious of our eating habits not just for our own personal health, but also for the health of the planet.
What are you doing to lessen your impact?