What we choose to eat has a huge impact on the health of our planet.
According to the EWG’s Quick Tips for Reducing Your Diet’s Climate Footprint by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “Fertilizing feed for animals with chemical fertilizers produces nitrous oxide emissions, a greenhouse gas 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, or CO2. When animals eat this feed and produce manure, the methane emissions that are generated are 80 times more powerful than CO2. Plowing up and tilling forest and grasslands to grow feed for animals also releases carbon from soil into the atmosphere.
Every other sector of the economy is lowering their greenhouse gas emissions, but agriculture’s share of these emissions has gone up 12 percent since 1990. And meat production is responsible for much of that increase. By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions from animals and producing their feed could easily account for one-third of U.S. emissions.”
What to do about it?
- The protein you choose matters – add more plant based proteins. Different foods have different climate impacts. A you can see below, the greenhouse gas emissions of 12 common proteins vary significantly.
- If you choose meat – choose meat that is certified organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised, or humanely raised and preferably local.
- Eat more plants – good for the planet and good for you!
- Avoid waste – According to the USDA, Americans throw away 30-40% of the food they purchase.