Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Health: what we eat and how much matters

"Thanks to a new tool called Life Cycle Analysis, scientists can pinpoint much more precisely what foods produce those climate-warming gases, and what stage in their "life cycle" is most carbon intensive," according to an article by Leslie Cole which in the April 21 Oregonian, "Your climate-friendly kitchen." [...] "The results," the article continues, "show some clear steps all of us can take to a more climate-friendly diet."

To build a "low-carbon diet," Cole suggests:

More green, less moo.
To eat green, vegetables should be the focus of your meal. Meat and dairy products should be kept to a minimum, because "livestock products account for more than half of the food sector's contribution to greenhouse gases."

Kick the can.
Food, when thrown into landfills, releases methane gas. Instead, compost food waste and buy only what you need.

Keep it real.
Real foods--or whole foods--are better than processed foods. Eat an apple instead of apple juice, a potato instead of potato chips, because "new research shows that food production, not transportation, takes the heaviest toll on the environment."

Buy foods in season.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables preserves energy, because "processing requires energy, which uses fossil fuel and creates emissions."

Break your bag habit.
Plastic bags are made from petroleum, so they fill our landfills, landscapes, and waterways without breaking down.

© Cole, Leslie. "Your climate-friendly kitchen," The Oregonian. 21 April 2009.

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