SUSTAINABLE EATING

SUSTAINABLE EATING


When it comes to what we eat, it is clear that our choices have a significant impact on the future or our planet. An IPCC report published in August 2019 by United Nations scientists said that eating less meat, reducing food waste, and reforming agriculture could slash global emissions benefiting both our health and the environment. Worrying that meat production is on an “unstoppable trajectory to become the single greatest contributor to climate change,” the Lancet Report called for guidelines “doubling global consumption of fruits, nuts, vegetables and legumes, and cutting the consumption of red meat in half.” Currently, 47.6% of our greenhouse gases come from meat.

The second, often unconsidered source of global emissions, is food waste. As 1 in 8 Americans struggle to put food on the table, over 40 percent of the food in the United States is never eaten. An enormous amount of resources and energy goes into growing, processing, transporting, and eventually disposing of all that wasted food. That includes, reports the NRDC, the climate-wrecking greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of the food system, plus water, fertilizer, packaging, labor, and more.

It’s clearly time for us to take a look at our diets. You might want to start by taking this quiz.

And, then:

  • eat seasonally, eliminating the distance what you eat has to travel
  • think mindfully about what you buy so as to waste less
  • consider the packaging of your food. Time to bring your own refillable coffee thermos and water bottles, your own food containers that can be washed and reused after lunch at the office, and your own bags to the grocery store
  • reduce your consumption of meat and lamb, increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and nuts

These simple transformations cannot come fast enough. As we become more aware of the complex issues in our food system, we must each find our own way to reduce our carbon footprint and re-establish our connection with food.

Whatever your path may be, this section is designed to help you understand the food revolution taking place and how to contribute to building a healthy and sustainable future through personal choices. There’s no doubt that we need to take collective action against climate change as citizens, but examining our kitchens is equally important — and a great place to start the sustainability journey.

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Ecokitchen

05/04/22
To kick off this eight-week series, we’ll be talking about best practices for minimizing food waste. In the upcoming weeks, you can expect to read about energy saving tips, strategies for reusing common items, how…

Animal Rights

01/28/22
Vegetarianism, Veganism, Pescatarianism, Flexitarianism. Never before have there been so many ways to define how and what we eat. But are these choices simply a matter of personal taste, or do they reflect a broader…

Opinion | Let’s launch a moonshot for meatless meat

01/24/22
I’m a vegan, but I’m also a realist. There’s no chance humanity is going to give up meat, en masse, anytime soon. That said, we can’t just wish away the risks of industrial animal agriculture.…

Land to market adds the good kitchen as member in regenerative agriculture movement

11/16/21
Land to Market, the world’s first verified sourcing solution for regenerative agriculture, is pleased to welcome Charlotte, North Carolina-based, The Good Kitchen, home meal delivery service as a new member of Land to Market. As…

He Wrote a Gardening Column. He Ended Up Documenting Climate Change.

07/28/21
In the summer of 2019, Jeff Lowenfels told me, one of his friends successfully grew okra in Anchorage. Lowenfels could not believe it. The crop was shorthand for all the change he has witnessed since he…

Environmental Impacts of Food Production

06/06/21
Food, energy and water: this is what the United Nations refers to as the ‘nexus’ of sustainable development. As the world’s population has expanded and gotten richer, the demand for all three has seen a…

Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems

10/06/20
Food systems have the potential to nurture human health and support environmental sustainability; however, they are currently threatening both.

Food security and nutrition around the world in 2020

10/06/20
Five years into the 2030 Agenda, it is time to assess progress and to question whether continuing efforts implemented thus far will allow countries to reach SDG 2 targets.

Vegetable Gardening For Beginners

03/25/20
Ready to jump into gardening? It can be daunting at first, but gardening is an incredibly rewarding hobby to get into. Our Vegetable Gardening Guide for Beginners will help you to plan and grow your…

Consumer Resources to Support Sustainable Seafood from the Seafood Watch Program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

02/13/20
What You Can Do: The easiest and most important thing you can do is ask the question: "Do you serve sustainable seafood?" Let your favorite businesses know that ocean-friendly seafood's on your shopping list.

Eating Fish Sustainably

02/13/20
For millions of people globally, eating fish is a key component of a balanced and healthy diet. Because of its growing popularity, the fishing industry has grown significantly over the years. According to the National…

Humankind – Climate Friendly Food Guide

09/10/19
There’s no getting around it: The foods we eat have a huge environmental impact and they contribute to global warming. That’s why a lot of people who are concerned about recent weather extremes and climate…

Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change

03/21/16
The food system is responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions while unhealthy diets and high body weight are among the greatest contributors to premature mortality. Our study provides a comparative…

The Smart Seafood Buying Guide

08/26/15
Five ways to ensure the fish you eat is healthy for you and for the environment.

MORE NEWS

Cultivated Meat Passes the Taste Test

By Aryn Baker   01/19/22  
Renowned Israeli gastronome Michal Ansky knows her food. She’s a professional taster and a Master Chef judge. So when she was invited to the world’s first public blind taste test pitting lab-grown, or cultivated, chicken…

Rich nations could see ‘double climate dividend’ by switching to plant-based foods

By Ayesha Tandon   01/10/22  
Adopting a more plant-based diet could give rich countries a “double climate dividend” of lower emissions and more land for capturing carbon, a new study says.

Veganuary is a tough sell

By Jennifer A. Kingson  Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios   01/09/22  
Veganuary, a campaign that started in the U.K. to get people to give up meat and dairy for the month, is in its third year in the U.S., where it's catching on slowly.

Taking Stock And Looking Forward: Climate and Animal Agriculture

By The Civil Eats Editors   12/28/21  
As 2021 comes to an end, we take stock of another momentous year that marked massive upheavals in the food system and across society. To lead us into 2022, we asked some of the leading…

Clash of the kitchens: California leads the way in a new climate battleground

By Evan Halper  Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times   12/16/21  
The most luxurious gas stoves and ovens a home chef could desire fill the cavernous Snyder Diamond showroom in Van Nuys, but the cooking appliance the owner seems most excited about doesn’t use gas at…

Meat accounts for nearly 60% of all greenhouse gases from food production, study finds

By Oliver Milman  Photo: Jim West/Alamy Stock Photo   09/13/21  
The global production of food is responsible for a third of all planet-heating gases emitted by human activity, with the use of animals for meat causing twice the pollution of producing plant-based foods, a major…

Emissions from Diet Could Eat Up the Entire 1.5 Degree Carbon Budget

By Lloyd Alter  Photo: Helder Faria   06/15/21  
In the 2018 Special Report on Global Warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celcius (3.6 Fahrenheit), "global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2)…

Protein-Filled, With a Low Carbon Footprint, Insects Creep Up on the Human Diet

By Emiko Terazono  Photo: Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images   06/15/21  
Harry Wright’s new range of smartly packaged seasonings looks like the sort of artisanal fare found at any foodie market or upmarket deli. But they have a distinctive ingredient: ground, roasted crickets.

Is the global food system broken, and, if so, will a push towards plant-based diets fix it?

By Jane Byrne  Photo: GettyImages/natatravel   05/27/21  
Michael Lavin, founder and managing partner of Chicago based, Germin8 Ventures, a purpose-driven VC firm that invests in companies fixing the global food system, shared his thoughts with us on the future of food production,…

Third of global food production at risk from climate crisis

By Fiona Harvey  Photo: Alamy   05/14/21  
Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have calculated that about 95% of current crop production takes place in areas they define as “safe climatic space”, or conditions where temperature, rainfall and aridity fall within certain…

Putting a sustainable diet in context generates some surprises

By Emma Bryce   05/14/21  
There is increasing acceptance that worldwide diets—especially of majority meat-eating countries—need to change to fall in line with global sustainability goals. This is reflected in a rising wave of dietary guidance on the best foods…

7 Tips to Make Your Eating Habits More Sustainable

By Hilary Macht  Photo: Canan Czemmel/Stocksy   04/30/21  
“Choosing a better, more sustainable diet is one of the main ways people can improve their health and help protect the environment,” says Michael Clark, PhD, a researcher at the University of Oxford in the…

Cutting Out Beef Could Cut Agricultural Land Use In Half

By Lloyd Alter  Photo by Franklin Levert   03/05/21  
Treehugger has been writing about the problems of meat forever, we have been pitching vegetarian and vegan diets for years as a way of reducing one's carbon footprint, and we keep writing posts about reducing…

Vote with your forks’ for a healthier you and greener planet

Photo: Charles Sinclair   03/03/21  
People in the Sid Valley have responded enthusiastically to the many initiatives to increase biodiversity in our patch. But did you know that we can vote with our forks and eat our way to a…

Hershey’s deforestation policy cracks down on cocoa suppliers while honing in on chocolate’s carbon emissions

03/02/21  
The Hershey Company’s new commitment to ending deforestation includes a crackdown on any cocoa supplier who breaches the policy, which may lead to suspension or complete removal from the company’s supply chain. The No Deforestation…

CARBON FOOTPRINT STUDY REVEALS 1 ‘RECOMMENDED’ DIET IS BAD FOR EARTH

03/02/21  
RESEARCH SUGGESTS SWITCHING TO A PLANT-BASED DIET is one way a person can help reduce the impacts of climate change. However, the U.S. dietary guidelines — nutritional advice published every five years by the Department of Agriculture and the Department…

Global Food Security Declines Again

02/26/21  
On Tuesday, the Economist Intelligence Unit released the ninth annual Global Food Security Index (GFSI) sponsored by Corteva, which measures the underlying drivers of food security in 113 countries, based on the factors of affordability,…

What if the United States stopped eating meat?

By Frank Mitloehner   12/04/20  
If Americans’ gave up meat and other animal products, would that solve our climate crisis? Research says no. In fact, it continues to demonstrate giving up meat would be a woefully inadequate solution to the…

Got Beef? Here’s What Your Hamburger Is Doing To The Climate

By David Vetter  Photo: Alliance/Getty Images   10/05/20  
The ethics of killing animals for their meat have been debated for centuries. But in recent years, the looming specter of climate change has given meat eaters an additional dilemma to consider: cattle and dairy…

Interactive: What is the climate impact of eating meat and dairy?

By Daisy Dunne   09/14/20  
Food production accounts for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and takes up half of the planet’s habitable surface.

Eating our way to a healthier planet

By Eve Turow-Paul and Sophie Egan  Illustration: Michael Parkin for The Washington Post   05/15/20  
Yeast, vegetable seeds and local farm boxes are new hot-ticket items. Windowsill scallions are having their moment in the sun. People are exchanging tips on how to use every bit of food in the fridge,…
DW

6 of the most sustainable meat alternatives

By Jeannette Cwienk  Photo: Imago Images/Panthermedia   05/13/20  
Coronavirus outbreaks in abattoirs have brought our taste for meat sharply into focus. The industry is associated with poor working conditions and is damaging the climate. So what other high-protein options are there?

Fertilizing a garden entirely for free

By Kara Stiff   02/25/20  
At our house we have a goal to produce 80% of our fruit, veggies, meat and dairy within five years of moving onto our land. We only eat a little meat and dairy, but we…

So, Is Organic Food Actually More Sustainable?

By Naomi Zimmerman   02/05/20  
Ultimately, sustainable food production is a tradeoff between optimizing yield and minimizing environmental degradation...

Why Planting a Bee Garden Is Good for Pollinators, Good for the Planet, and Good for You!

By Ingrid Koivukangas  Photo by Ingrid Koivukangas   01/18/20  
As the climate of the Earth changes, bees and pollinators are under increasing threats from urbanization and development, heavy chemical and neonicotinoid pesticide use, and shifting weather patterns that create increased temperatures, droughts, fires, floods…

McDonald’s bump! Beyond Meat stock pops after Impossible Foods abandons the Golden Arche

BY Christopher Zara  Photo by Beyond Meat   01/07/20  
The fake-meat wars just got real. Shares of Beyond Meat popped more than 13% in late-afternoon trading today after its rival Impossible Foods said it is no longer trying to win over the world’s largest…

Why the 2020 Golden Globes’ Menu Will Be 100 Percent Plant Based

By Kelli Boyle   01/02/20  
The 2020 Golden Globes are going vegan. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced on Thursday that this year's meal at the Golden Globes ceremony will be entirely plant-based, in an effort to raise awareness about…

Can Chefs Learn to Love Cooking Without Fire?

By Tom Philpott  Photo: Cristina Byvik   11/11/19  
A push to electrify buildings suggests the end is nigh for gas ranges.

What Sandwich War? KFC Sells Out of Plant-Based ‘Chicken’ in Atlanta

By Derrick Bryson Taylor  Photo: John Amis/Associated Press for Beyond Meat   08/28/19  
The fast-food chain tested Beyond Fried Chicken at one location this week.

How to best make use of your garden to help tackle climate change

By Tom Bawden   08/22/19  
Scientists have hit upon an unorthodox but highly effective way for households to tackle climate change - recreate a "pocket" wetland in your back garden.

Chef Dan Barber On How Delicious Food Can Solve the Global Food Crisis

By Madeline Ostrander  Photo: Row 7 Seed Company   08/20/19  
What if we could revolutionize agriculture by making the food we grow tastier? Dan Barber, one of the country’s most lauded chefs, insists that it’s possible and sustainable to feed the world by focusing our…

Soon you can feel a little less guilty about enjoying that dill pickle with your meal

By Lauren Gandy   08/19/19  
Did you know that the brine used to make pickles is saltier than seawater? While this gives pickles their delicious taste, it also creates concerns about the water waste – the salt concentration in pickle…

Food after oil: how urban farmers are preparing us for a self-sufficient future

By Richard Benson  Photo: Murdo MacLeod/The Observer   08/18/19  
Bristol is at the head of a food phenomenon that is helping residents better connect with their cities and each other
NPR

Give Up Your Gas Stove To Save The Planet? Banning Gas Is The Next Climate Push

By Lauren Sommer  Photo: Astrid Tschuden/Getty Images   08/05/19  
As more cities and states try to cut carbon emissions, some are taking aim at a new target: natural gas inside homes. Buildings, through heating and cooking, use almost a third of the natural gas…

UNFOLD: Is the Chicken Local?

08/02/19  
Imagine you could know exactly where your food comes from, how it was grown, what kind of soil it was grown in and how it was handled and distributed. What if you could find out…

How to Fight the Climate Crisis at Home: Small Tips for Making Big Change

By Sophie Hirsh   08/01/19  
This article is not just about finding little ways to reduce your impact — rather, it’s about ways to stop climate change from your home.

Want a cleaner kitchen and a cleaner world? Get a composter for your food scraps

By Julie Compton  Photo: recep-bg/Getty   07/29/19  
Composting plant-based food waste is an easy way to keep your kitchen smell free while reducing your impact on climate.

Tackling Food Waste and Climate Change from the Kitchen

By CPINEDA  Photo: “Broken Bread”   07/29/19  
Here are some tips for reducing food waste and easing the impact of our food systems on a delicate climate.

The Most Delicious Foods Will Fall Victim to Climate Change

By Nicholas Thompson  Photo: Xuan Long/Xinhua/Redux   06/13/19  
Amanda Little is the author of the new book The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World. She recently sat down with me at Betaworks to discuss lab-grown meat, GMOs, and why we need…

History of tomorrow – Seed saving in a changing climate

by Kai Hoffman-Krull   06/01/19  
As global warming brings greater volatility in seasonal weather patterns, agricultural timelines are beginning to shift. We’re seeing dry months when there should be rain, for instance—or flooding when it should be dry. This variability…

What to Cook in a Changing Climate

By Sam Sifton  Illustration: Cari Vander Yacht/The New York Times   05/01/19  
This week, the Food desk of The Times combined forces with colleagues on the Climate desk to find out, and to explore the thorny issues surrounding cooking in a changing climate.

Our Best Recipes for Climate-Friendly Cooking

By Mark Josephson  Photo: Andrew Scrivani/The New York Times   04/30/19  
We have vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian options for climate change-conscious cooks.

Mindful Eating: 15 Eco-Friendly Recipes | Earth Day 2019

By Shahzadi Devje   04/23/19  
If Earth Day is inspiring you to take action to better care for the planet, discover 15 nutritious and mouthwatering recipes that are eco-friendly – to help you practice mindful eating.

The truth about expired food: how best-before dates create a waste mountain

By Dale Berning Sawa  Photo: ACORN 1/Alamy Stock Photo   04/17/19  
What happens if you ignore expiry dates altogether? One man did that for a year, without ill effects – but his approach is debatable

Chirps Chips, the company that’s introducing Americans to eating crickets

Reporting by Daisy Simmons/ChavoBart Digital Media  Photo: Courtesy of Chirps Chips   04/12/19  
Their cricket-powder chips come in Sriracha, cheddar, and barbecue flavors.

I Followed the Climate Diet For a Week and Now I’m Afraid We’re Doomed

By Alejandra Borunda  Photo: Alex Lau   04/11/19  
Eating for a healthy planet isn't hard...if you have plenty of money, plenty of time, and an office fridge that can accommodate a small castle of Tupperware.

6 Pressing Questions About Beef and Climate Change, Answered

By Richard Waite, Tim Searchinger and Janet Ranganathan  Photo: Jakob Cotton/Unsplash   04/08/19  
Beef and climate change are in the news these days, from cows’ alleged high-methane farts (fact check: they’re actually mostly high-methane burps) to comparisons with cars and airplanes (fact check: the world needs to reduce…

How clean cookstoves can help vulnerable women stay safer

Reporting by ChavoBart Digital Media  Photo: Karan Singh Rathore / Flikr   01/30/19  
Billions of people around the world cook over open fires or with rudimentary cookstoves. But cutting down trees for fuel is bad for the climate. And breathing smoke can harm people’s lungs and cause other…

Would eating insects save us from climate change?

By Camellia Williams  Photo: SatyaPrem/pixabay   01/17/19  
From a climate perspective, eating insects might be better than eating meat, but would you eat them? In the West, eating insects is still seen as a novelty, despite the number of start-ups hoping to tempt us…
BBC

A bit of meat, a lot of veg – the flexitarian diet to feed 10bn

By James Gallagher  Photo: Getty   01/17/19  
A diet has been developed that promises to save lives, feed 10 billion people and all without causing catastrophic damage to the planet.