Food Habits That Are Harming the Environment

The food industry in the United States is extremely lucrative. This is understandable, as all people need to eat, and to care for all of those needs, the burgeoning food industry continues to grow. But with so many more mouths to feed on the planet, how can the nation promote healthy eating habits which are not damaging to the Earth? What food habits are harming the environment?

Meat Consumption

Whereas it can be easy to be caused to believe that eating meat at dinnertime is dangerous to the Earth, the truth is that it is not eating a small amount of meat which is the concern. Rather, according to the LandHealth Institute, the cumulative effects of the industrial meat industry complex is the bigger concern. It produces greater amounts of greenhouse gasses than the transportation industry. While eating a small amount of meat can be healthy, pressuring the industrial meat producers to use healthier practices for growing meats, while eating fewer animal proteins in general, is a healthier practice.

Food Waste

According to Vacuum Sealers Unlimited, by some estimates, half of perishable food in the U.S. is wasted. Some stores have found that their patrons expect perfection in things like produce presentation. This means that everything not presented in perfection, produce with blemishes, and even good food which is within a week of preferred sell-by dates winds up in the trash. Included in this mess is whatever leftovers from vast restaurant industries occur. The cumulative effect is astounding and disheartening.

Antibiotic Overuse

Less than a hundred years ago, miracle drugs were produced which increased the average life span considerably. However, as the food industry got more accustomed to antibiotics, it became more normalized to not only use antibiotics to hide poor animal husbandry practices, but to feed them as a matter of course to the animals, whose body sores were more easily handled when overfed antibiotics. According to Food Safety News, this creates a resistance in the food population, which likewise creates it in the human population. This makes doctors worry about more ear infections and strep throat, but also increases the likelihood that tuberculosis will become unable to be treated.

You don’t have a lot of influence over, for example, local food waste and antibiotic overuse, but you do have influence over those who make laws. There are still some senators and representatives who are interested in the viewpoints of their constituents. Speak to those who can change the industries which change our Earth.

Read this next: Why Waste Management and Ethical Sourcing Are Essential for Our Environment

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