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

Polyface

12/05/22
To develop environmentally, economically, and emotionally enhancing agricultural prototypes and facilitate their duplication throughout the world. 

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…

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.

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…

MORE NEWS

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.
WWF

Earth Hour Climate-Friendly Recipes

By WWF   01/05/19  
In support of Earth Hour, celebrity chefs including Raymond Blanc and Hugh-Fearnley Whittingstall have shared some climate-friendly recipes for you to try your hand at!

9 delicious ways to cut down on food waste

By Amy Gorin, RDN  Photo: Cecilia Drotte/Getty Images/Maskot   05/14/18  
Try these creative recipes that put food scraps to work in the kitchen — and lower your grocery bill.

Fighting Climate Change With Food Scraps: Why Composting Is Easier Than Ever

By Sarah Baird  Photo: Grant Cornett/Vogue   03/26/18  
No matter where you are in your eco-friendly ascent, there’s room in the mix for composting.

20 percent of Americans responsible for almost half of US food-related greenhouse gas emissions

03/20/18  
To estimate the impact of U.S. dietary choices on greenhouse gas emissions, the researchers built a database that assessed the environmental impacts involved in producing more than 300 types of foods. Then they linked the…

Preparing our Homestead for Climate Change

By Ashley Adamant  Photo: Ashley Adamant   03/16/18  
While climate change forecasts for much of the world predict drought, predictions for Vermont are just the opposite.

How To Reduce Your Kitchen’s Impact On Global Warming

By Karli Verghese and Stephen Clune   06/29/17  
The food we eat is responsible for almost a third of our global carbon footprint. In research recently published in the Journal of Cleaner Production we ranked fresh foods based on how much greenhouse gas is produced from…

Fugly Pickles: Reduce Greenhouse Gases with “Perfectly Edible” Discarded Food

By Eden Lew, Jon Lung, Ziyun Qi, Roya Ramezani  Photo: SVA   01/02/16  
Fugly Pickles is an enterprise created by second-year designers Eden Lew, Jon Lung, Ziyun Qi and Roya Ramezani aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by removing "perfectly edible" discarded food from landfills—which contribute 16% of U.S.…

Guide to Urban Homesteading

By Rachel Kaplan  Photo: Jason Houston   04/01/14  
Learn about urban homesteading skills, such as small-scale composting, urban beekeeping, and how to set up a rainwater catchment system.