Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Eco-Footprint of Food is the Key to Saving the World!!!

Ecological Footprint: Measures human impact upon the environment - how much space or productive land is needed to support an individual's lifestyle. The larger the footprint the more impact the individual has on the Earth.
Ok so it is important to first acknowledge that we all impact each other and everything by every choice we make, conscious of it or not. This is really at the heart of thinking of the ecological footprint simply as the consequences of our actions on the environment. One of the main factors surrounding all this is where and how we come to acquire the food on our plate and what we choose to eat. The current industrial food system is perpetuating that the lack of choice we have when it comes to how our food is grown, processed and transported and is responsible for a number of environmental effects.David Suzuki is pretty much the best Canadian ever. One reason is that he highlights the importance of the "ecological footprint of food" in his latest publication David Suzuki's Green Guide (printed on forest friendly paper of course!). According to Suzuki, one of the most environmentally sensible ways you can cut down on your ecological footprint is by being aware of what you eat. He goes into depth about them in Chapter 3 of his Green Guide:

"Producing meat uses vast volumes of water"

"the amount of grain fed to livestock in the U.S. could feed about 840 million people on a plant-based diet"

"By eating a local, organic, and predominately plant-based diet you can reduce the ecological footprint of the food you eat by as much as 90%"

"Compared to plant protien, red meat is responsible for 6-20 times the land use, 5-17 times the water pollution, and 5-25 times the water use "

It is all about the realization that you have the power to directly influence the demand for alternative choices that will help to create a new food system. One with less impinging on the lives of animals and lowering the level of violence. One with the potential for more equal distribution of food throughout the world. One that is sustainable: creating healthy bodies and healthy local food economies.
"Eating is an agricultural act, a biological act, a social act, an economic act, and a political act. With every meal you can vote for the food system that you would like to see".
Find out how productive and easy it is to think about these simple choices which literally effect the world - Drastically Lower Your Eco-Footprint of Food by:

1. Eating less meat, eggs and dairy products
-the most environmentally damaging foods that people consume!

2. Choosing Local Food
-this reduces "food miles" which is the energy used to transport food far distances and back so as to be produced

3. Buying Organic Products
-avoid synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics

4. Whole Foods Over Processed Foods
-whole foods consist of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and beans that have not been extensively processed or refined

5. Consuming Fewer Calories
-higher quality whole foods with a lower consumption quantity

6. Avoid Bottled Water
-the bottles themselves are made of plastic that is energy and water intensive to make

My favourite one David Suzuki Nature Challenge is "Meat-Free-Mondays", encouraging meat eaters to cut out meat one day a week to acquire a perspective. This challenge especially illustrates how easy it can be and how much there is to learn about how even one meat-free day can help you reduce your ecological footprint. (Yes, this challenge is for YOU!)

1 comment:

  1. You have no idea how many battles I've had with my father over this stuff. This should help with some steady convincing.