Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

How to Eat a Low-Carbon Diet

Climate
How to Eat a Low-Carbon Diet

Unless we reduce man-made emissions, the average temperature of our planet will rise, making both floods and droughts more severe. Many foods will begin to disappear, as farmers abandon variety for large, single-crop farms. Fortunately, we can change our buying and eating habits in a way that will help reduce climate change. Among these is adopting a low carbon diet espoused by the University of Cambridge Colleges Low Carbon Meals Scheme.

You can do your part to help reduce climate change by choosing the right foods to eat.

Low Carbon Diet Defined

A low carbon diet means making lifestyle choices to reduce greenhouse gases. Such a diet minimizes emissions released from the production, packaging, processing, transport, preparation and waste of food. The diet involves reducing the following foods:

  • food that’s heavily produced and packaged
  • products that must be transported from across the country or world
  • out-of-season foods
  • general food waste

Food Choices that Help Both People and Planet

You can do your part to help reduce climate change by choosing the right foods to eat. I’ve found that a low carbon diet is not only good for the earth, but also good for my overall health. Here are some of the food choice strategies you can adopt to help both people and planet. 

  • Choose local and organic foods. Buying produce locally can help reduce emissions associated with transporting food. According to Sustainable Table, organic farms emit up to two-thirds less carbon dioxide than industrial farms per acre. Sustainable agriculture practices also help retain more carbon in the soil. Try to shop at your local farmers’ market or co-op, or join a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm.
  • Limit meat and dairy. Today’s industrial meat production is highly energy intensive, which heavily impact climate change. A recent Boston Globe article noted that Americans eat more protein than they need. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's recommended dietary allowance for most adults is 56 grams of protein per day for men (an 8-ounce burger made with 85 percent lean ground beef) and 46 grams for women (a small skinless chicken breast). But Americans typically consume twice that amount. So buy half as much protein-based foods and opt for certified organic and pasture-raised meat and dairy. Better yet, choose plant-based protein sources.
  • Eat fewer processed foods. Processed foods are not only less healthy, but they contain too many additives, preservatives and packaging. This consumes lots of energy, which produces emissions that damage our environment.
  • Prepare vegan, drought-friendly meals. As surface water sources dry up, groundwater becomes the resource of choice, requiring more electricity to pump it out of the ground than it takes to transport surface water. To conserve water and the energy it takes to move it, you can create meals from recipes that use the least amount of water possible. Many plant-based recipes are compassionate to both the planet and its inhabitants. Chris Sosa offers some tasty recipes in this Care2 article.

What you eat and how you prepare meals can affect climate change. So do your part for your health and the health of our planet.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

5 Videos the Tuna Industry Doesn’t Want You to See

Farmed Salmon Rejected Over Huge Spike in Antibiotic Use Due to Bacterial Outbreak

Tips for Avoiding BPA in Canned Food

A replica of a titanosaur. AIZAR RALDES / AFP via Getty Images

New fossils uncovered in Argentina may belong to one of the largest animals to have walked on Earth.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Trump's Affordable Clean Energy rule eliminated a provision mandating that utilities move away from coal. VisionsofAmerica /Joe Sohm / Getty Images

A federal court on Tuesday struck down the Trump administration's rollback of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A wild mink in Utah was the first wild animal in the U.S. found with COVID-19. Peter Trimming via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA

By Jonathan Runstadler and Kaitlin Sawatzki

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have found coronavirus infections in pet cats and dogs and in multiple zoo animals, including big cats and gorillas. These infections have even happened when staff were using personal protective equipment.

Read More Show Less
A mass methane release could begin an irreversible path to full land-ice melt. NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images

By Peter Giger

The speed and scale of the response to COVID-19 by governments, businesses and individuals seems to provide hope that we can react to the climate change crisis in a similarly decisive manner - but history tells us that humans do not react to slow-moving and distant threats.

Read More Show Less
Doug Emhoff, U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden wave as they arrive on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By John R. Platt

The period of the 45th presidency will go down as dark days for the United States — not just for the violent insurgency and impeachment that capped off Donald Trump's four years in office, but for every regressive action that came before.

Read More Show Less