Eating in a sustainable way
Each kilo of beef produces 96 kilos of carbon dioxide. An average American consumes about 44 kilos of beef per year, which is 4.2 tons of CO2 per year. Raising animals for food industry is producing larger amounts of greenhouse gas than all the world transportation.
The food has to travel long distances before being served on our plates and that is also a major problem. Unfortunately, most fruits and vegetables in our stores carry thousands of miles behind. That is why it is very important to promote local production of food. A package of spinach, which flew from the other side of the world produces, for example, 3 kilos of CO2.
Another thing to take into consideration is how the food is being produced. Organically produced foods contribute up to 26% less of the emissions than conventionally produced food. If we eat local and organic products, our food carbon footprint can be reduced to almost 0.4 million tons per year.
It is not so hard to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to live in a greener world. Just take into account the following:
-Eat less meat
The man who eats a lot of meat and rides a bike has a larger carbon footprint than a vegetarian who drives an economic car. There are many different recipes that can replace meat and not lose in flavour! Studies say that vegetarians suffer less from some diseases such as cancer and they live longer. Anyway, if you can really not separate from meat, take into account that when you buy it, opt for organically grown meat and which production did not have to destroy the rainforest.
-Eat less milk products and eggs
We also know that the excessive use of milk, dairy products and eggs does not contribute to our good health. We can start with one day a week eating only plant foods. Slowly we will meet new recipes, new foods and begin to create delicious dishes in the kitchen.
-Select organically grown foods
Organic farming requires 63 % less energy than conventional production, moreover, it doesn’t produce emissions of nitrous oxide and saves 15 to 28 % of soil carbon. The organically grown foods contain more antioxidants. Reasons enough to reflect about how the food we have just in front of us was being produced.
In your own garden you can produce enough food for yourself- our ancestors did exactly that. Start exploring different forms of agriculture. Make compost from food waste, leaves and grass, in that way you will ensure that the soil in your garden will be fertilized with a high quality organic fertilizer. You can also reduce the consumption of energy for preparing food using solar cooking or preparing food in pressure cooker.
The more you buy products from local producers, the more you will reduce your carbon footprint and your food will be fresh and healthy. If we compare two Christmas dinners: the dinner where imported foods were served, the amount of emissions was 100 times greater than at the dinner where local food was eaten. To illustrate with numbers: 11.89 kilos of emissions compared to 0.12 kilos.
Last but not least, it is important not to waste food. In Europe we throw away nearly half of all the food, which is really unacceptable .
With a greener mind we can reduce our carbon footprint. Take Action!
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Asociación Cazalla Intercultural