Changing the way we eat is the fastest and most effective way of impacting the environment – and our health – for the better. In fact, a study by UK’s Food Climate Research Network suggests that the production of food, from farm to fork, is responsible for as much as 20-30% of global green house gas emissions. It may take years to save up the money to buy solar panels or carbon credits, but changing the way we eat is something we can do today, and every day, to improve the health of ourselves and our planet.
Because of the way meat is produced is the US, meat production has become one of the largest contributors to this growing tally of emissions. In fact, livestock production is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than the entire transport sector, and over half of the emissions associated with food production! By going “meat free” even once a week (meaning substituting local produce and vegetables into your main course), you can help to reduce these emissions and make your diet more diverse.
BUT, this doesn’t mean vegetarians are the only environmentally friendly people in the US. Purchasing local or family farmed, grass fed meat is one way of ensuring that the food that you eat is produced in a safe and efficient way, without the use of excessive antibiotics, wastes, and feed. It also helps reduce emissions by encouraging farmers to use the feed and resources they have around them, rather than ordering what they need from elsewhere.
For more on what you can do to eat sustainably check out “50 ways to eat green”