Do You Care About Climate Change? Three Ways to Make a Difference Through Food

Categories: Ethical Eating

Alex Berger via Flickr Creative Common
While there has been a long-term so-called debate about the potential effects (and actual existence) of climate change, a report released by NASA last week shows that the ice is melting in Antarctica and there's nothing we can do to stop it.

(Fox News still seems to be denying science.)

According to the study that was released last Monday, warm ocean currents and geographic changes have helped lead to a chain reaction at the Amundsen Sea-area glaciers, causing faster melting than previously believed, taking them "past the point of no return," NASA glacioligist Eric Rignot reported.

Quite frankly: it's pretty freaking scary.

Even so, we can all do our part to attempt to slow it down.

We spoke to registered dietician and founder of Plant Strong Nutrition Adrienne Bolten about foods to avoid and sustainable alternatives, if you care about climate change.

See Also: New USDA Study Finds Bee Populations Not Dropping as Steeply, Names Possible Causes

3. Stick to Local
We're constantly being inundate with buzz words like"organic," "local," "free-range," and whatever else. Sure, we know organic is likely to be better for our bodies, but unfortunately, it's hard to tell what is the best option for the overall environment. Here's your answer: stick to local.

"If your options are between organic from Chile or local conventional, go with the local first," says Bolten. "You can talk to the grower or farmer directly to ask what's on the food and what kind of seeds are being used."

When you compare that to organic from halfway across the world -- or even the country -- you can't have that dialogue and there's a huge environmental impact from shipping and transportation. Sure, growing your own food would be the best option. But most of us barely have time to clean the house, never mind maintain a garden. Between the growing number of farmer's markets and urban farms in the area, it's not hard to find locally grown (possibly organic) produce.

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The problems are really all from sterile soils in industrial ag. The soil can hold ridiculous amounts of carbon and water (if we let it). The California drought and wild fires? All man made. 

The article mostly hits on the nail, but I would add that you should compost. If you don't have space to do it, simply put your food scraps under the mulch somewhere nearby. It will encourage lots of worms to produce offspring and the soil will get much better. No reason to give the trash collectors all that free food (until they start to pay you for it). 

Alan Savory believes that proper rotation of herbivores (mostly cows) could rapidly reduce carbon levels while more importantly reversing desertification and making farms profitable. And we have lots of dairy, meat and eggs available in South Florida from farms that do it. 


@mikemoskos1  Thanks for the suggestion. Given the severity of the situation, we'd like to put together articles about food and the environment more frequently from now on. Let us know if you have any other ideas, questions, or comments.

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