The influence of food on the environment
We are all looking for ways to help the environment in our daily life, so one thing to take into account is the way we eat since we do this every day. Maybe this article will inspire you to be more mindful about what you eat and make some small changes to your diet where you want to.
Globally, around 80% of farmland is used to raise and feed animals – the animals that humans then consume. This space could be used to produce food directly for humans, it is estimated that approximately 700 million tons of food that could go to humans are being fed to livestock every year.
Livestock needs a lot of water when it’s being raised. And still, many people around the world have to live without access to clean water. If more livestock would get replaced with plants, there would be more water left for humans, since it takes about 150 times more water to raise a pound of beef than a pound of plants.
It Is also important to mention that livestock causes more air pollution than all the modes of transportation – like cars, ships, planes – combined.
Of course, going fully vegan is not possible for everyone, be it due to allergies, money or just not wanting to. All of these are completely valid reasons. If you do decide to go vegan, whether it is for just one day a week or completely, finding vegan substitutes is not as hard as it used to be. There are countless alternatives to cow milk, like soy, oat, almond, cashew, coconut and more. If you want to eat pizza, there are alternatives with veggies and vegan cheese on top, there are vegan nuggets, egg substitutes and so much more. And it doesn’t need to be expensive, things like pasta, rice or potatoes with some vegetables always make a good quick, easy and cheap vegan meal.
But it’s not just the animals we eat that are bad for the environment. It is also the import of food in general. This is not just meat, but also fruit and vegetables.
Most of the time, we don’t think about what we eat too much. We don’t think about where the food comes from and the way it went through to get to us.
A good tip is to shop local food, for example buying your milk and eggs from a local farm or buying fruit and vegetables that are local to where you live. Here in the Netherlands, these include lettuce, carrots, mushrooms and sweet peppers, but also apples and berries.
If you want to make some sustainable changes in your diet, start small and try to be more mindful about what you eat.
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