Monday, February 7, 2011

ARE YOU WHAT YOU EAT? Seven Steps to Sustainable Eating

By Lauren Brombert

We can’t live without it. But eating the wrong types of food can also lead to compromising our health. And it’s not just a question of obesity, which is at an all-time high.  All kinds of conditions have been linked to poor nutrition, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and a variety of cancers. You’ve heard it before: “What you are is what you eat.” But what we put in our bodies doesn’t only affect us.  It also affects the health of the planet.  

How livestock is raised, how fruits and vegetables are grown, and how far food is transported to reach us are the questions we need to be asking if we want to make good nutritional—and environmental—choices.

Ready to change some habits? Here are some simple steps you can take.

1. Buy Organic

Food certified as organic follows strict guidelines in farming and processing practices. They have to be free of GMOs, artificial or synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, preservatives and radiation. By selecting organic products, not only are you reducing your exposure to harmful chemicals and organisms, you are also reducing the amount of toxins used in the environment.

2. Avoid Antibiotics

When it comes to meat and dairy, make sure products have not been treated with antibiotics.  Antibiotics are one of the most important medical discoveries of the 20th century.  The more antibiotics you consume, however, the more resistant you will become to bacteria.  

3. No Growth Hormones

A growth hormone called rGBH is used in U.S. industrialized farming to accelerate growth in animals. rGBH affects both the meat supply and dairy products. More and more evidence suggests that it may be responsible for increased rates of cell replication, which could lead to cancer. In addition to staying in the meat itself, growth hormones get passed through animal manure, contaminating the soil and groundwater.

4. Choose Fish Carefully

Overfishing causes serious problems. If a type of fish is killed off or insufficient numbers of mature males and females are left to reproduce, it can set of a chain of events that wreaks havoc on the environment for years to come. Buy fish and seafood from stores which require suppliers to uphold sustainable fishing practices.

5. Buy Local

The farther food has to travel to reach you, the more fuel is needed for air, ship or overland transportation.  Help cut back on C02 emissions by buying food grown locally.

6. Eat What’s in Season

In the U.S., if you buy asparagus or peaches in the winter, you are only going to find imports.  They’ll be a whole lot more costly than seasonal products—both to you and to the environment.

7. Stay Low on the Food Chain

Fruits, vegetables and legumes (which are at the bottom of the food chain) need far fewer resources to cultivate than meat.  It takes 13 pounds of grain to create one pound of meat.  By eating less meat, you are benefiting the economy and the environment.  
These little adjustments in your daily life to keep your family and the planet healthy add up to make a big difference. There are hundreds of small but powerful green actions you can take. Our mission at Going Green Today is to provide you with a personalized, easy-to-follow “Green Makeover.” All you have to do is answer a few questions and, in minutes, you get a free report outlining your green action plan.

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1 comment:

albertycatalan said...
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