3 Ways Your Food Is Affecting the Environment
Everyone knows that their food doesn't magically appear in the grocery store, but that's where most people end their knowledge of where their food comes from. Even less thought is put into how sustainable these resources are. While it isn't likely to happen, the oceans could dry up, cattle could die out, and other disasters could happen. It is important for us to use more sustainable sources of food right now and start taking better care of our planet.
Our oceans play an important part in modern living. If it wasn't for our vast oceans things like shrimp, tuna, octopus, and flounder wouldn't exist. These things aren't even the most important things to come from oceans; things you wouldn't have imagined are important when it comes to the ocean and our way of life. Seaweed is actually one of the most needed resources humans require. This crop grows extraordinarily fast, reaching heights of 12 feet in less than three months. It isn't necessarily the seaweed that we use for frequently. The actual good produced from the seaweed, specifically from red seaweed, is carrageenan. This product is used in a variety of dairy products like, ice cream, yogurt, and chocolate milk. Without it, dozens of products would become impossible or extremely expensive to make.
So how is growing seafood good for the environment? Seaweed is grown underwater, meaning it requires no pesticides, fertilizers, or additional treatment. It grows natural and perfectly in the oceans by itself. The only job to do is harvesting, and no greenhouse gases are emitted from things like plows and harvesting machines because these tools can not be operated underwater.
Tofu or Beef?
Cows produce a lot of greenhouse gases. There are millions and millions of cattle in America alone. These cattle produce greenhouse gas while they are alive due to bowel movements, the machinery used to process the meat usually emits toxic smoke, and transporting the beef to groceries produces an insane amount of carbon emissions.
Nearly everyone loves a good hamburger or steak, and no one is asking you to completely give up beef, but tofu can be an acquired taste. At first, it may seem ill-textured, but it doesn't take long to appreciate its nuances. By just giving up beef occasionally and buying a pack of tofu instead, you can reduce your carbon footprint on the world significantly.
No one is asking for the mass extinction of cows either: that would be horrible. It is unquestionable that some of these cows are raised and slaughtered for no reason, only to be thrown away at the grocer after the expiration date. By showing the meat producing industry that we are consuming less beef you are not only lowering the cow population, but saving thousands of cows from being slaughtered for no reason.
Broccoli Has Self-Defense Mechanisms
Broccoli doesn't grow under water, but similar to our friend, seaweed, it doesn't require a large amount of additional resources. A farmer may occasionally spray pesticide on his broccoli, but it doesn't happen very often. Fertilizers and pesticides account for around 30% of all greenhouse gases emitted in the United States, but you can feel happy in knowing that broccoli contributes only a minuscule amount to this terrifying percentage.
The reason for broccoli's lack of needs is simple: it creates its own pesticides. Other vegetables that are able to produce their own anti-bug formula are Brussels sprouts and cabbage. All three of these vegetables contribute minuscule amounts to an ever growing problem.
In case some are curious, broccoli produces carbon emissions equal to less than one mile on the road for every four ounces of the vegetable consumed. Other vegetables that have minuscule carbon footprints are lentils, beans, and potatoes.
The Main Takeaway
There are many ways we can help the environment. Not only can we eat sustainable food sources, we can make sure we’re recycling, using green light bulbs, and even a home solar battery that helps you utilize solar energy. Whatever methods you choose, do your part to help our planet.