Science Saturday - Your Food's Carbon Footprint is Bigger Than You Think.
Welcome to Science Saturday! There is a huge amount of science that goes into what we do and we want you to know about it. This is the second post in our series. In future posts we'll discuss topics like soil health, organic certifications, how your body uses the plant nutrients you eat, and more.
Avalow Science Saturday
How much impact does your food really have on the environment?
We all want to reduce our carbon footprints and do the best we can for our planet. If you're like us, you make it a priority to change your daily habits with this in mind: drive less, recycle more, supporting politicians with a carbon-reducing agenda. While these are all very important, we want to talk about something that doesn't get a lot of attention: the impact of the food you eat.
To clarify, a carbon footprint is defined as the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc. Essentially, everything you do, for better or worse, has an impact on the environment.
The specific food groups you eat can greatly affect your carbon footprint. If you don't run your own farm, it can be difficult to understand what it takes to get food to your plate. With that in mind, replacing red meat with chicken or fish and increasing your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and nuts drastically decreases your footprint.
Reducing your personal food waste is another great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Wasting food not only has the footprint of the resources used to create it, but it also releases greenhouse gases when it rots, which effectively doubles down on its overall impact! According to the Washington Post, "the global carbon footprint of all [the world's] wasted food was about 3.3 billion tons of carbon-dioxide equivalents - that's 7 percent of all global emissions." Luckily, there are easy ways to combat this: cooking and eating at home, reducing portion size, and growing your own food!
Being aware of the impact of your food habits is the first step in reducing your environmental impact. It doesn't have to be a daunting task! Choosing leaner meats and more fruits and vegetables are great steps towards improving your diet overall. Cooking at home gives you the chance to try out that recipe you've been eyeing. Growing your own food fosters a better connection with it, it's better for you, it tastes better, and you get the joy and satisfaction of a job well done!
Shameless plug: If you don't have the time or the know-how to grow your own food, please consider our services.