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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024


How do I embark on a low-carbon diet?

Most of us enjoy a nice barbeque steak every once in a while. But next time you order that beef tri-tip, consider the effects on our planet. A massive amount of energy is required to get food onto your plate each day. In fact, the United Nations estimates that livestock production alone accounts for nearly one-fifth of the world’s greenhouse gasses. So what can you do to reduce your diet’s carbon output?

1. Consume less beef and cheese. Beef production generates greenhouse gasses through corn feed and cow by-products. Corn is grown with oil-based fertilizer and cows produce significant quantities of methane gas. To satisfy your protein needs, switch to chicken and eggs or consider becoming a vegetarian.

2. Minimize your waste.

Prepare only enough food to eat. All the food you waste is wasted energy and typically ends up in a landfill.

3. Eat seasonal and regional.

Foods out of season in your area are grown in energy-intensive greenhouses or shipped in from tropical areas. Eating local reduces transportation pollution especially if you want fresh food. Fresh food from faraway places is flown in requiring 10 times the amount of energy as a cargo ship. Consider freezing local food for other seasons or modifying your diet.

4. Go organic.

Inorganic foods require an enormous amount of synthetic fertilizer generated from oil. Organic soils store more carbon and produce healthier crops.

5. Less packaging and processing.

Try to avoid food products with excessive packaging. Producing the plastic packaging requires oil and processed foods require energy use, generating pollution in the process.

6. Drink from the tap

Bottled water is less regulated and considerably more energy intensive. Save money and drink tap water.

Ask EPPC questions or tell us how to live green. Submit to margaret.link@gmail.com and win a green prize worth your effort.


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