Everything that we do has an impact on the environment, and that includes eating. Food production, storage, and transportation have a huge impact on the environment in terms of land use, water consumption, and fuel expenditure. A green diet will do a lot to protect the environment, and adopting one is remarkably easy.
Roughly ten percent of all agricultural carbon emissions come from transporting food to market. That is because most food gets transported over long distances, and you can help to cut down on the problem by buying local food. On the other hand, other factors can outweigh the decrease in fuel use. For example, people in cold climates may reduce emission more by buying from a warm area if the crops require heating to live. It is a tricky optimization problem because there are a lot of factors to consider. As a general rule of thumb, local items will be the most sustainable groceries, but be open to making specific exceptions.
Meat production takes a huge amount of land, water, and other resources. Animals need more space than crops, and they still need to eat lots of food while they grow. They also release carbon into the air, unlike the plants that pull it out. Reducing your meat consumption, or even eliminating it entirely, is the single most effective way to help the environment with your diet.
The easiest way to improve your diet is to waste less food. When you throw food away, you are also throwing away all of the resources that went into producing, storing, and shipping it. Try to buy only as much as you need, and track your consumption so you know how much you need to buy each time you go to pick up your sustainable groceries.
You can even grow some of your own food if you want to save money and improve efficiency. Try to choose garden plants that are native to your area, since they need the fewest resources to thrive. You should also choose things that you enjoy, to make sure that you are motivated to garden and will use everything that you produce.
It really doesn't take much to adopt a green diet, especially if you take it in small steps. Even a little change helps, so you can switch to a green diet over time at your own pace and still help the environment. All it takes is a little planning and willingness to change.
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