MINDFUL EATING: SMALL CHANGES CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
Global warming, climate change, extinction. Call it what you like, but I implore you, don't downplay the urgency for change if you care about keeping our planet healthy for future generations. (Extinction Rebellion, anyone??)
One easy way we can all make a difference is in the way we eat. In his book, Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer wisely asks, "What kind of world would we create if three times a day we activated our compassion and reason as we sat down to eat?" This suggestion that we get to vote every day for more sustainable food practices has stayed with me ever since I read his book 10 years ago.
If you're wondering if you have to become vegan in order to truly make a difference, don't worry, so did I. Sure, veganism makes the biggest impact, but if we all even slightly change the way we think about and consume food, the results can be impressive.
I could go on, but instead I'll point you to this amazing New York Times article, Your Questions About Food and Climate Change, Answered. It's very easy to read, full of amazing suggestions and rooted in facts and statistics.
Here are some parts that stood out to me:
According to a World Resources Institute analysis, if the average American replaced a third of the beef he or she eats with pork, poultry or legumes, his or her food-related emissions would still fall by around 13 percent.
Is food waste a big part of the climate change problem? Yes. By some estimates, Americans end up throwing out roughly 20 percent of the food they buy.
Paper shopping bags appear to be a bit worse from an emissions standpoint than plastic bags, although the plastic bags at supermarkets can’t typically be recycled, and create waste that sticks around for much longer. But in general, packaging makes up only about 5 percent of global food-related emissions. What you eat matters a lot more for climate change than the packaging it comes in.
Does recycling really do anything? It can help, though it’s not as effective as reducing waste in the first place. Recycling aluminum, plastic and paper can cut energy use and curb emissions. But make sure you’re recycling properly; follow these tips to make sure your recyclables don’t just end up in the landfill.
I highly recommend taking the time to read the article, interact with some of the content and click on the external links. Ask yourself how you can reduce your carbon footprint through the food you eat in a way that works for you. Then share your progress and encourage your friends and family to follow your lead!
Personally, I still eat meat and fish, but limit my red meat consumption to maximum once a week, if that. I eat very little cheese and use oat milk as my dairy of choice. We waste almost no food in our household thanks to careful grocery shopping and Mindful Chef's delicious, locally-sourced and thoughtfully packaged meals. And I always carry a foldable grocery bag wherever I go.
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