Food has played such a HUGE role in my greenification (my word, you can use it - 2% royalty, though). From joining a CSA, planting a Victory Garden, shopping at the Farmer's Market, buying organic (ummm, how did I manage not to make that a blogpost?), meal planning, eating less meat, avoiding factory-farmed meat, avoiding corn syrup. The list goes on and on....
But I promised this would be easy. One year to a greener you. So let's take it one small step at a time. We'll start with the big impact stuff first - Stop Eating Factory Farmed Meat.
You've heard the stats before, but I'll put them out there again - just to remind us all how many resources are required to raise feed-lot cows for food.
- Ten people could be fed with the grain that you would feed a cow that would be turned into food for one person
- Each pound of steak from feedlot-raised steers that you eat comes at the cost of 5 pounds of grain, 2,500 gallons of water, the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, and about twenty-five pounds of eroded topsoil
- Over 30% of North American land is devoted to grazing
- Over 50% of America's cropland is dedicated to growing feed for livestock
- The livestock industry consumes over half of the water used in the US
- Livestock produces 130 times the amount of waste that people do
- Every second of every day, one football field of tropical rain forest is destroyed in order to produce 257 hamburgers
- Feedlot cattle produce almost one fifth of global methane emissions
Now don't get me wrong here, folks. I love to splurge on a nice, juicy porterhouse now and again. I'm a carnivore from way back. But the thing is -- and this is a hard concept for many of us to grasp -- we need to eat beef in moderation. If and when we do buy beef, it should come from a local farm that feeds the cows grass - not grain.