Food systems such as producing food, transporting it, and storing wasted food and landfills all contribute to climate change. In order to harvest, transport, store, cook, and serve food, the global food industry uses a tremendous amount of energy. This produces many greenhouse gases that negatively impact soils, rivers, oceans, forests, and other natural resources. Meanwhile, climate change generates its own vicious circle of activity, with ecologically fragile countries experiencing the highest levels of food insecurity. As climate change worsens, these fragile countries’ agricultural potential tends to dwindle. However, these countries require food, increasing their reliance on the complicated logistics of food aid.
Not all foods are made the same way, including transported, stored, prepared, and served. Some foods have a significant environmental impact, whereas others do not. Many elements influence the ecological effect, and if considered holistically, it is feasible to build an eco-friendly diet.
Meat, particularly beef, has the most significant environmental impact of all dietary kinds. However, like with other foods, the complete picture is complex. When livestock is raised in a limited fashion, there are a few ignored environmental benefits. The manure from livestock can be utilised as fertiliser to aid in crop growth (reducing the need for chemical fertiliser). Most animal feed is made up of waste products such as spent grain, and rearing livestock can provide additional calories for humans that would not otherwise be available.
Let’s look at the top ten eco-friendly foods, which can vary from an easy to make snack to a good hearty meal.
Peas have built-in nitrogen ‘’fixers’’ which make them a more environmentally-friendly option than soybean plants. This capacity to fix nitrogen in the soil avoids synthetic fertiliser and results in nutrient-rich soil after harvest. Pea plants thrive in cool climates, lowering the amount of water wasted due to high temperatures.
Beans are one of the most extensively produced and accessible, sustainable foods available. They’re also quite simple to add to your current diet and come in a wide range of flavours. Beans belong to the legume family, which also contains pulses (an edible seed grown in a pod). They are environmentally friendly (because of their minimal water content and large yield) and very healthy. Beans are a good source of protein (ideal for vegetarian and vegan diets) and B12, which we usually acquire from red meat like beef.
Lentils are a versatile and cost-effective foodstuff that also happens to be one of the top climate-friendly proteins due to their low greenhouse gas emissions. Lentils emit only 0.9 kg of CO2 equivalent per kg consumed during production and “post-farming emissions”, including processing, transportation, and cookingwhich is 40 times less than other protein sources like lamb.
Farmed salmon is one of the least environmentally-friendly seafood available, so replace it with mussels, which are an excellent dose of omega-3 and a good source of protein. Mussels that are farmed are often reared on ropes hung in the ocean, creating minimal environmental damage.
Figs are flowers, and they’re among the most demanding plants on the planet. There are over 750 different types of figs on the earth. Many of them serve as ecological linchpins because of their year-round growth tendencies, which provide a vital source of food for innumerable creatures. They’re also high in nutrients and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
A locally grown, ripe summer tomato has a low carbon footprint and it is second on the Environmental Working Group’s list). Tomatoes have a minimal carbon footprint and their deep root systems collect moisture from deeper soil, reducing the demand for water during the hot summer months.
7. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens, including anything from kale to spinach, are the essence of nutritious foods. It’s going to be beneficial for you if it’s green and leafy. Leafy greens are simple to make in enormous quantities while using few resources, and there are many different varieties to test. Leafy greens aren’t just for salads and smoothies; they’re also delicious in other dishes such as kale crisps and spinach curries.
8. Organic Tofu
Tofu is a protein-packed product that uses less water than various types of animal protein. Itemits 13 times fewer greenhouse gases than beef. For every 4 ounces ingested, tofu emits the carbon equivalent of less than 1 mile travelled. Furthermore, purchasing organic ensures the use of non-GMO crops and the avoidance of synthetic chemicals, both of which can harm the environment.
Broccoli production emits less carbon than driving a mile in a car, and it can be grown without the use of toxic pesticides. Broccoli, a cabbage relative, releases chemicals that function as natural pesticides.
Rice is a staple food item in many parts of the world, and it is simple to grow, and despite our imaginations of vast rice paddies dripping with water, rice does not require much water to thrive.Rice is simple to grow, simple to cook, and maybe kept for a long time.
There you go! You can add these incredible foods to your diet and contribute positively to the vast climate change. By eating consciously, you can ensure that your food carbon footprint is as small as possible.
Article Submitted By Community Writer