Everything we do in modern life has an impact on the environment.
From the food we eat, to where we shop.
We suggest 5 ways your diet could be impacting the planet.
Climate change is a global problem and one that is, unfortunately, escalating.
If current trends continue, it is likely that the world will hit dangerous levels of emissions within this century, well beyond the limits scientists once predicted.
The problems of climate change are vast, complex, and interconnected.
It can feel impossible for an individual to make any significant difference in the face of such a huge threat.
However, recent studies show that what we eat does impact environmental factors.
To feed the population of our planet, our food systems need to be vast and complex.
This has led to a rise in environmentally damaging practices, such as factory farming and the use of harmful pesticides.
One of the good things about the relationship between humans and environmental damage is that it is mutually beneficial to seek solutions to these problems.
Therefore, if we are motivated to make ourselves healthier – by eating a better diet – we will also, incidentally, help the planet.
One of the ways we can do this is by changing our diets, as our nutrition patterns impact the environment.
By adopting a more sustainable approach to food as individuals, and on a wider societal level, we can have an impact on environment related concerns.
Here’s some of the things that experts suggest you can do to improve your own health and to cut back on your food’s carbon footprint.
Your Diet’s Impact on Environment Problems and Climate Change
There are several reasons why our food systems play such a large role in environmental damage.
One reason is the overconsumption of meat, particularly in western societies, and the large-scale farming that goes along with this.
Another is the need for increasingly large crop yields, regardless of seasonal growth and changing weather patterns.
When people expect to eat the same foods all year round, this creates a problem for the environment.
Human diets, like all things within natural eco-systems, rely on diversity to survive.
Those who eat a more varied diet, rich in a range of nutrients, tend to be the healthiest.
Meanwhile, those who eat mostly processed or refined foods often develop related health problems.
On top of this, the way that food is transported, packaged, and stored creates an impact on environment concerns.
The impact on environment by plastic packaging has led to microplastics being found at the bottom of the ocean, inside icebergs, and in the digestive tracts of humans and animals.
In order to change this, humans will have to fundamentally change many things about the way we eat.
5 Ways to Eat More Sustainably
Cut Down on Meat
Reducing your meat consumption is one of the biggest ways you can have an impact on environmental degradation.
There are a number of reasons why eating too much meat is bad for the planet, and for your health.
One reason is the need for industrial farming methods to meet the current demand.
Industrial farming requires large amounts of land to house animals, but also to grow crops to feed animals.
Cows are commonly fed on grain and soy products, which is not optimal for the animals or for humans consuming the meat.
The land usage leads to depletion in the soil and in natural eco-systems because other plants are forced out by monocultures.
Another reason for meat’s large impact is water usage.
Water is a declining resource on our heating planet and must be conserved.
Growing enough crops to feed animals requires huge volumes of water.
This is why the impact of the consumption on the environment is so great.
However, even reducing your meat consumption (particularly red meat) can make a big difference.
Try just eating meat three times a week or only at weekends.
This is also better for your health.
Although you don’t have to go vegan to make a difference, the dairy industry also has similar problems with industrial farming and water consumption.
Not to mention ethical concerns.
By cutting out both meat and dairy, you could reduce your carbon footprint a lot.
Just be sure to supplement correctly to get all the vitamins you need.
Overconsumption is a large problem in the west, but also increasingly in other parts of the world.
We are literally eating enough to make ourselves sick.
Overconsumption fuels the demand for cheap, high-calorie food, which, in turn, helps fuel intensive farming.
Eating less is good for the planet and for our health.
If you’re struggling to lose weight and reduce your calories, remember to include some exercise in your routine.
You could also take an appetite suppressant or opt for surgery in extreme cases.
Humans’ impact on the environment during lockdown was slightly reduced because there were fewer flights.
Flying is one of the highest carbon activities and cutting back makes a big difference in terms of impact on the environmental pollution produced.
When we grow food in season in one country and transport it around the world, however, we also contribute to air pollution, as well as pollution from cargo shipping.
By shopping locally or eating in season we can reduce this impact on the environment.
It is also better for our health because food tends to be fresher.
We do not have to wait so long for food to reach us, so the nutrients may be more available.
Choose Sustainable Packaging
Going plastic-free is extremely hard.
Most of our food now comes in plastic packaging.
The human impact on the environment is increasingly plastic-shaped and the problem is not getting smaller.
If you can, try to choose foods in sustainable packages or shop plastic-free.
Shops with refillable bins for dried foods are a good option.
You should also take your own bags to the supermarket and use your own take-away cup when you get coffee.
Human impact on the environment and development of solutions to this problem go hand in hand.
We must rely on large companies to play their part, but we can also impact things as individuals.
If it’s also good for our health, this is an added bonus.
Final Call: Do you take steps to reduce your environmental impact through your food choices?
Have you gone vegan or vegetarian to help the planet?
How do you reduce plastic waste?
Let us know in the comments!