Low Carb

Low carbon diet that is. I read this article on the Seventh Generation website and here’s a summary on how to lower your carbon footprint by making better choices at the grocery store.

  • Reduce your consumption of red meat, which alone is responsible for 30% of our country’s total food production-related GHG (green house gases) emissions.
  • Cut back on dairy products, too, which account for another 18%.
  • Focus your protein consumption on chicken, fish, and eggs, which together account for just 10% of food-related GHG emissions. Replacing red meat and dairy products with chicken, fish, or eggs for just one day a week, for example, would yield the equivalent of driving 760 fewer miles each year.
  • Fill up on fruits and vegetables, which create just 11% of the GHGs on the nation’s plate. Going vegetarian one day per week would be like driving 1,160 miles less per year.
  • Buy locally-produced food whenever you can.
  • Buy organic foods. Healthier organic soils are able to absorb and store far more carbon than chemically-treated soils. By some estimates, we could remove 580 billion pounds of carbon from the atmosphere simply by growing all our corn and soybeans organically.
  • Watch your waste! Buy in bulk and avoid heavily packaged products. We can each prevent the release of 1,200 annual pounds of C02 simply by cutting our garbage output 10%. When it comes to cooking, prepare only what you’ll actually eat and clean your plate. Save all your leftovers for other meals and throw out as little as possible.
  • Similarly, skip the junk and snack foods, and other heavily processed products. These all take more energy to make than raw foods prepared at home.
  • Buy fresh foods rather than frozen foods, which require ten times more energy to produce.
  • Eat foods in season. Out-of-season foods transported from distant locales have much larger carbon footprints than those grown nearby. Can, dry, and freeze fruits and vegetables during local harvests so you can enjoy them all year round.
  • If you buy non-local, assess the impact. Foods transported by ship have a far lower GHG footprint than those that are trucked or flown. So a Boston resident, for example, is better off drinking wine from France than California, while someone in St. Louis should opt for the West Coast choice. Non-local fresh foods like fruits and vegetables are likely to have been flown in while packaged foods from overseas will most likely have arrived by water.

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