There has been a lot of attention placed on the distance your food travels before it reaches your table. Often called ‘food miles,’ there is a certain logic in the concept that if those blueberries you are eating in January came all the way from Chile, well, maybe that isn’t the most responsible way to shop.
Obviously in North America things like melons and apricots, peaches and plums aren’t going to be available in the winter months unless they are coming from somewhere warm, usually South America. That means an awful lot of fuel is being burned just to get them to your local grocer.
But just as important as how far your food travels, is the choice we make about what we eat. This Science Daily article makes a wonderful argument for going meatless just one day a week to help reduce your carbon footprint.
Now, in case you are not already sold on the idea of going without your meat once a week, there are other important things to consider about the production of meat, especially beef. This New York Times article is incredibly interesting and really puts in perspective the astonishing amount of resources, from land use, water consumption, energy and waste that go into producing 284 million tons of beef yearly. I recall once reading that a single cow consumed enough water, when considering all the grain and feed, to float a World War II battleship. When you consider the shrinking water table in the Midwest and the droughts in the Western states, this fact alone should encourage us all to consume less beef.
And finally, when considering reducing your meat intake, there is your health to consider. Too much meat consumption often contributes to obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Taken all together, these are compelling arguments to reduce your overall meat consumption. And to help you do that, each Monday Green World 365 will post a recipe to inspire you to prepare a vegetarian meal and help make the planet, and youself, healthier.