Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Eating Your Carbon Footprint

 The food system is responsible for approximately a quarter to a third of greenhouse gasses.  What can we do? More than you might think. First we have to look how and when carbon is emitted.

Eat local! We’ve heard it before and we will hear it again. However eating in season is also a major player, the reason behind it is that foods grown out of season in a colder climate typically take a greenhouse which uses energy or need more fertilizer either way adding unnecessary emissions. So learn your climate and eat what your climate can provide, eat local!

Organic food shopping is NOT necessarily the same as sustainable food shopping and although claims have been made that organic foods produce fewer carbon emissions claims have also been made that conventional farming release fewer. Fortunately there is talk of a new label coming soon to grocery stores near you certifying sustainable food practices. Until then there is an app which you can download called HarvestMark Food Traceability By YottaMark, Inc. which will be your friend in identifying the groceries you buy tomorrow. Other ways you can help reduce your footprint is by not using an oven or stove as it is kind of a double whammy when heating up the processed food we sometimes eat, one whammy at the cannery and one in the home!

For those of you that are willing, going vegetarian or vegan can reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses by about one quarter.  This has to do with the amount of land cleared for the animals and the land cleared for the animal’s food. However there is a snag if this choice is viable in your life and you are willing to give it a shot not all calorie intake "replacers" are equal and some can still have a high carbon emission rate when comparing calories offered from the food item

To ensure a carbon footprint lower than before a combination of these steps and awareness is necessary. Using these tools one can influence a diet and as the community grows of “in the know consumers”, we can influence a market.

The link to the app for sustainable practices
Additional Links

-Gregory Mallon

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