4 Aspects Of Your Eating Habits That Negatively Affect the Environment
Saving the environment has become more pressing than ever in the last several years. For most people, the best ways to contribute are recycling and using less energy. However, many overlook the method of changing your diet. Eating habits can have an incredible impact on the Earth, mainly through resource waste and pollution. Fortunately, it seems that healthy diets and environmental preservation go hand in hand. For interested eaters, here are four aspects of your eating habits that can negatively affect the environment.
The most obvious connection between your eating habits and the environment is the kind of food you consume. As you may know, animal products take up a substantial global footprint. In one respect, the land used to farm these animals is extensive. Many tropical forests have been destroyed for this very purpose. The animals farmed are fed an unnecessarily large amount of food, most of which is edible for humans. Sizeable portions of water are also used to nourish the livestock. There are other types of food that are detrimental to the environment as well. These mainly come in the form of crops that have grown massively popular, resulting in unsustainable farming methods. For instance, the popularity of almond milk has resulted in extreme water usage on the nuts. Be sure you look for sustainability when buying any edible product, including multi vitamins.
When deciding on what food brands to buy, finding out which ones use farming pollutants isn't just for your health. In order to reach consumer demands, many farmers for popular companies use harmful chemicals. These methods get rid of pests and make crops grow faster. However, many also pollute the environment through runoff. This happens when chemicals get caught in water and are carried through the local ecosystem. The resulting spread causes harm to water sources, as well as any surrounding soil. By buying food that is farmed organically, you can directly avoid this type of pollution.
Modern Americans are used to large portion sizes for meals. The general consensus, for those that can afford it, is that one should eat until full. However, other countries have proven this to be unnecessary. Eating until you're fully sated isn't an international normality. In Europe, for example, a restaurant is likely to serve about half or two-thirds the amount of food that an American establishment would. Other than the conceivable health issues that arrive from bigger portions, such sizeable meals can harm the environment. In one way, eating that much isn't integral to survival. In another, many Americans don't even finish an average meal. The leftovers are often thrown away. Therefore, American portion sizes result in food waste. Wasting food also squanders the resources used to create it, so the issue is even more damaging than one might think.
Transportation isn't something that springs to mind when discussing food, but it plays an integral part in your diet's global footprint. Numerous companies engage in international sales nowadays. Unfortunately, large delivery trucks can cause a substantial amount of air pollution, especially when the vehicles are driven over great distances. If you buy products from a commercial company, chances are that it will be transported from far away. You can avoid this problem by eating local foods. Look for products that were made at least somewhat close to your area. If you're having trouble with this, search for the nearest farmers market.
Changing your diet is rarely easy. Eating is an important part of daily life, so letting go of a bad diet takes determination and time. However, this effort is almost sure to pay off in the end, at least when it comes to the environment. Now is not the time to stand back and let others make a change. After all, even the smallest improvement can contribute to preservation. So, when choosing your next meal, keep the environment in mind.