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There are many factors, inside and outside the grocery store, to consider when you’re shopping with sustainability in mind. When it comes to sustainability in food, it is often the case that what you’re eating, or your food choice is more important than where your food comes from. For example, animal protein contributes up to 51% of total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (UN FAO). The majority of this percentage is attributable to raising cattle and producing beef. If you’re looking to eat more sustainably, there are other meat (and non-meat) options that can help reduce your diet’s carbon footprint.
Resources such as water, land, fertilizer, feed, and even packaging are all elements of any food's environmental impact. What makes foods eco-friendly is a combination of two things; the ratio of product yield to GHG emissions, and the effect the production process has on the soil, air, and water around it. Below you can find some sustainable food sources to fulfill a healthy and happy diet.
If you’re interested in a meatless diet like veganism, you might be worried about getting enough protein without meat. However, there are some incredibly protein-rich and sustainable plant-based options out there. These options include:
Due to the relatively high environmental impact meat has, you may be wondering if you should eat meat at all. However, if you are a meat lover, there are a lot of sustainable options out there. These options include:
Carbon dioxide emissions from plants and plant-based products can be 10 to 50 times lower than animal products, according to charts at Our World in Data. Since farming produce is generally lower maintenance livestock production, vegetables also consume far fewer resources. The most sustainable produce items include:
Grains are also low maintenance when it comes to water and energy consumption. Upping your whole-grain intake is a great way to start eating more suntainably. The most sustainable grains include:
Making your diet more eco-friendly may seem like a huge undertaking. However, there are some easy and fulfilling ways you can start making the turn toward a sustainable diet today.
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