In our growing world and rapidly developing society, we are faced with an increasingly urgent problem: how can we feed 7 billion mouths and counting? How do we do so without permanently damaging our environment through reckless use of water, pesticides, and monocultures? Something we can do is actually beneficial for both us and our environment.
The answer is for us to eat locally grown, healthy food. How does that help alleviate our problem? First off, transporting food takes vast amounts of energy through keeping the food at a suitable temperature over thousands of miles, and consumes fuel through this transport. When our food is grown down the road or merely has to be moved a few miles to our grocery store, we know it’s more safe and fresh to eat. Additionally, it gives local farmers a chance to grow their own strains and types of crops, promoting biodiversity amongst crop populations.
Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods, with a focus on vegetables, fruits and nuts. The efficiency of growing plants for consumption far exceeds the efficiency it takes to raise livestock, such as cattle and pigs. These animals require a lot of food and space, while also contributing to large portions of methane emissions—a notoriously dangerous greenhouse gas—through their droppings.
This does not mean to stop eating meats altogether—it still brings nutrition! However, I urge everyone to at least attempt to cut back on eating meats. When we eat healthier, we not only vastly reduce the amount of energy needed to get our food to the table, but also lessen methane emissions while increasing efficiency of total food grown! What steps have you taken to eat healthier for yourself and the environment?