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A Hungry Conscience

Updated on January 6, 2010

Help Save the World One Meal at a Time

Maybe we don't realize but every meal we eat plays a crucial role on our impact on the environment. I've written about what we apply to our skin and many of us are aware about what impact our vehicle has on the environment but have you ever stopped to think what your lunch might be contributing to the endless battle? Well, if you eat meat you probably know by now that methane from cows is a higher impact on the environment than your transportation. But do you know the chain of events that the team players on your plate partake in before they reach your fork and knife? If you don't know nor have ever even thought of giving a glance at this aspect then indulge me for two minutes before you change the page.

There exists a food system, where our food was grown, how it was grown, where it came from, how it arrives to us, what we choose and how we prepare it. All of these are choices, they are choices that should always be available to us to make the most conscious choice we can afford. From making this choice three times a day we can help in a bigger way than imaginable in the fight to reduce global warming.

I've heard many colleagues of mine say that you cannot claim that you care for the environment if you are not a vegetarian. However, though I hope for a more ideal world, I am a realist to a point. Let me make a suggestion; for those that aren't ready to go full vegetarian, much less vegan, maybe I can persuade you to adopt a diet less focused on meat in every meal. Maybe I can even suggest that meat nor fish has to be present in every meal that you have during the day. Then, maybe next week you might remember that I suggested that meat nor fish doesn't have to be present more than twice a week? By reducing fish and meat consumption by 20% you can achieve a massive impact on climate change.

If you haven't heard, and I question where you've been if you haven't, that livestock is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions alone and 80% of anthropogenic land use, you really have to learn the local food system. I was interesting in food since I was a child but it wasn't until I moved to France at the age of 22 that I finally saw the connections between everything. I developed a respect for where and how animals where raised. I appreciated the devout fromagier that sold the best quality that comes from the best cheese maker. Whenever I returned to the states I found it hard to keep up the same practices. Sure, I could find an expensive cut of meat or a cheap one. However the better ones often came from New Zealand but somehow where cheaper than the best ones in the states which came from Colorado. The vegetables were outrageously priced and the fruit often were of an unsettling size accompanied by a lacking taste. Why is it so hard to produce good produce? Probably because we have animals to feed, and too much of them. Then we have too much of them and want to make the biggest profit possible, so we produce the cheapest food for them. Which in turn leaves less land for human food and more land for animal food but poor control over animal quality. All of this results in too many animals, too much land wasted for animal food, low quality animals, more expensive human food (for decent quality), less healthy food for humans overall.



Reading to Guide You

The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat
The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat

The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat -

Tal Ronnen

 
Cool Cuisine: Taking The Bite Out of Global Warming
Cool Cuisine: Taking The Bite Out of Global Warming

Cool Cuisine: Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming -

Laura Stec

 
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto -

Michael Pollan

 
Food, Inc.
Food, Inc.

Food Inc.(2008) - Film by Robert Kenner - Starring: Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan

 

Global Warming: It's What's On Your Plate!

Food For Thought

Buy Local Products

Know the Sources

Eat Less Meat

Eat Less Fish

Compost

Harvest Locally

Keep Your Refrigerator Full

Know Your Impact

Eat More Raw Food

Grow Your Own

Start a Garden

Your Body is Your Temple

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