Did you know that the foods you eat can have a huge impact on the environment? Here are 8 foods that have negative consequences for our planet – and what you can eat instead.
Like it or not, every choice we make determines the sustainability of our lifestyle. At first, the fact that our food choices can harm the planet may seem a bit daunting, but the good part of this is that it’s something we can do something about! Just by making a few simple substitutions, we can make a significant difference in the sustainability of our eating habits.
Here are 8 examples of foods that are very resource-intensive, as well as 8 alternative choices that are much more sustainable – and still quite tasty!
….It’s very likely that, regardless of where you live, you’re invested in the epic California drought. The state is the largest producer of commercially sold fruits, vegetables, and nuts in the country…. You can do your part by making these easy swaps on your grocery list.
1. Peanuts Over Almonds
….Almond trees need to be watered consistently, whether they are producing or not…, the trees are a constant draw on ground water supplies.
As an alternative to snacking on almonds…reach for peanuts. They have similar nutritional content, cost about half as much, and are grown in less drought-prone areas like Georgia…..
2. Swiss Chard Instead Of Lettuce
….Since lettuce has shallow roots, the surface of the soil needs constant watering, and the delicate plants are usually not drought tolerant. Swiss Chard, on the other hand, has deeper roots, can handle hot weather, and it produces like crazy almost anywhere….
3. Chicken Instead Of Beef
While there are many factors to consider when buying meat, water should rank pretty high on the list. More than 1,800 gallons of water are needed for every pound of beef, compared with 515 gallons for each pound of chicken…. Look for a meat CSA in your area or talk to local farmers about the water needs of their cattle….
4. Potatoes Instead Of Corn
As far as starchy vegetables go, potatoes require significantly less water than corn at 34 gallons per pound versus 146 gallons per pound of corn…. So sub in roasted potatoes (locally grown if possible!) for boiled corn when the next time you need a side for burger night.
5. Cauliflower Instead Of Asparagus
The cauliflower “rice” trend is on to something: Not only is it a good substitute for carbs, but the plant requires relatively little water to grow…. Compared with asparagus…which needs 258 gallons of water per pound, cauliflower needs just 34.
6. Oregano Instead Of Basil
With bold flavor, oregano grows really well with little moisture….
7. Georgia Or Missouri Peaches Over California
California produces about two-thirds of the nation’s peaches, but the trees won’t produce in the naturally arid climates without irrigation. Look for peaches grown in less drought-stricken areas such as Georgia or Missouri.
8. Halo Mandarin Oranges Over Conventional
California grows about 85 percent of all citrus grown in the U.S. and farmers there are in dire straits, some going as far as bulldozing entire groves in response to diminished water supplies…. The company that produces the popular Halo mandarin oranges uses drip irrigation to conserve water.
Learn more at Rodale’s Organic Life…