The way our food is produced has a significant impact on the environment. It is partly responsible for deforestation, overfishing, biodiversity loss, and soil and water pollution. Farming and agriculture generate 15-25 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, leading to increased global warming, incidences of extreme weather, and water shortage. If we do not do everything we can to stop this damage to the planet, there will soon be insufficient food for us to survive. Here are some ways we can do our part in looking after the world.
Limit Meat Consumption
Farm animals contribute to 35-40% of worldwide methane emissions and 64% of ammonia emissions. Methane from cows’ rear ends and mouths is a potent greenhouse gas and about 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the Earth. Ammonia from animal urine can lead to acid depositions and excessive nutrients in soil, rivers, and lakes, which can negatively impact aquatic ecosystems and cause damage to forests, crops, and other vegetation. Limiting your consumption of meat and animal products will help reduce these emissions.
Eat More Greens
There is no doubt that consuming plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is good for our health, but some people worry that a vegan diet doesn’t provide enough protein. Plenty of protein can be gathered from produce such as soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, beans, spelt, spirulina, and quinoa.
Tofu, tempeh, and edamame all originate from soybeans. Sustainable soybeans provide the body with all the essential amino acids it needs and is considered a vegan superfood. Edamame are immature soybeans and can be steamed and boiled, and added to soups and salads. Tofu is made from bean curds pressed together and absorbs the flavors from foods it is served with as it is quite bland on its own. Tempeh has a nutty taste and is made from fermented soybeans.
Ensure that all of the plant produce you consume is sustainable, meaning that they are produced using systems that are non-polluting, safe for workers, consumers and communities, they conserve non-renewable energy and natural resources and do not compromise the needs of future generations.
Cut Down on Soft Drinks
Many fizzy drinks are full of sugar and contribute to the increase in rates of obesity, diabetes, and bad dental health worldwide. As well as being detrimental to our health, soft drinks are bad for the planet. The plastic packaging used to contain the drink and the energy used to transport the heavy liquids over long distances are bad news.
Drinking tap water, organic and ethically sourced tea and coffee is the best way to quench your thirst in an ethical manner. Ensure that the products you consume are organic and fair trade, and use reusable bottles as much as you can. If you must consume a packaged drink, opt for one which is contained in a recycled aluminum can. Recycled aluminum cans are the least environmentally damaging single-use container. Aluminum can be continuously recycled with no change in properties. 95% of the energy used to make a new can, can be saved when recycling aluminum and no new material needs to be mined or transported.