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6 Ways To Become A Better Consumer & Help The Environment

Hands of a young woman chopping vegetables on a wooden board

Popular opinion has always carried a lot of weight and when combined with the fact that money talks, it should not be impossible for consumers to convince both themselves and their main food suppliers that a healthier diet is needed by everyone. A growing rate of a 70% overweight and obese population in the US just cannot continue – it is unsustainable. To become a healthier person while putting less strain on the environment can and should be the goal of us all.

Here are 6 ways in which you can help

  1.  By cutting your meat consumption. At present, US meat eaters swallow 4 times as much meat as the rest of the world does. If you can cut your consumption in half, you can then easily afford to buy healthy grass fed organic beef or free range chicken and you will be cutting any damage to the environment by at least 50%. Factory farmed meat is very damaging both to the environment and to our health with 90% of meat currently coming from CAFOS and factory farms. Move away from all factory farmed meat, eggs and dairy and create a new demand for grass fed beef and free range chicken and eggs along with raw or at the very least organic milk, butter and other dairy products and farmers will change from dangerous, unhealthy industrial agriculture practices to sustainable organic techniques with more local production.
  2. By avoiding so much waste in our food supply from start to finish in the food chain. More than a third of all food in the US gets thrown away. This is a terrible indictment on us all when others in the word are starving.
  3. By ditching all the processed and refined foodstuffs too. That means white bread, white flour pastas, corn, processed salts instead of healthy natural salt, sugar, sodas and artificial sweeteners. With the US diet comprising more than than 80% processed, junk and fake foods, a natural, wholefood diet would vastly improve both our heath and our negative impact on the environment.
  4. By supporting and buying local and seasonal produce wherever and whenever we can. Food supply transport equals 20% of food-based greenhouse gas emissions so consumers can greatly reduce the CO2 emissions they are responsible for by purchasing their food from local organic growers. Local food from a farmers’ market or a veggie box scheme travels a much shorter distance than supermarket food from all over the world. Remember that even when supermarkets display “local” food, it has often traveled further than you might think because it still gets packaged centrally. Genuine local food often has a lot less packaging and if it’s from a market, it can often go straight into your bag.
  5. By showing concern about the number of bees that have been dying off around the world for a decade now from a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. A third of the US food supply depends on the honeybee. The collapse of bee colonies is probably multi-factorial rather than a response to one type of toxic assault but one major factor is the toxicity of systemic pesticides such as Clothianidin (made by Bayer). Do your bit to raise awareness of this worrying trend. 
  6. By learning to cook from scratch instead of relying on convenience ready-to-eat meals or take outs. Remember that the more ingredients in a meal, the higher the emissions from processing the food. This means it is better to cook your meals from scratch – something everyone would have done automatically in the past. This is where eating local food really wins out as most processed and ready-to-eat meals have ingredients that come from all over the world. If we want to be sure of eating local food, we need to cook more from scratch. We should also consider including more raw food in our diet – I try to have at east one raw meal per day. Support the organic food and farming movement and at the same time drastically reduce your carbon foot print by changing the way you shop and eat with these 6 tips.

Become part of a mass consumer demand for farm products that are organic, locally or regionally-produced and of course also climate friendly.

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