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What you eat not only affects you and our body but it also affects the world’s climate, especially when Americans eat since we get out food in unconventional ways. In 1950, the carbon level has risen from 300 carbon parts per million to 400 carbon parts per million which makes it highest it’s ever been. From 400,000 years ago to 1950, it has never went over 300 carbon parts per million (“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We know?”). Global warming is evident and it is a serious issue that the every living thing on Earth are facing, even more today than ever.
In a recent study done by NASA, they state that “The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events.” (“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We know?”). What we as humans eat affects the world’s climate and make a significant percent of the greenhouse gases.
NASA has also discovered that oceans have become a target for greenhouse gases, they state that “Global sea level rose about 8 inches in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century and is accelerating slightly every year”(“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We know?”).Climate change is a major disaster and will harm the Earth, and it is caused by humans. People may say that changing the way humans eat won’t help climate change but any little thing can help the world, the U.
S is the number one contributor to a carbon footprint with food production. There are ways that we can help diminish this problem little by little, ways such as eating locally, eating mostly vegetables and fruit, and fixing our irrigation system.
The transportation of Food Production such as red meat, frozen fruits, and vegetables are one of the leading causes of global warming that humans have created. A contribution to this is seen in the way we eat by Laura Kanji, a Harvard University graduate sheds light on this in “Famine or Feast Climate Change and the Future of Food Production”, she states “Finally, diets may change in an effort to decrease carbon emissions. For example, governments might encourage citizens to eat less red meat and fewer fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter to reduce the need for transportation.” (Kanji 57 ). The consumption of red meat is a contributing factor to climate change as the transportation and process to get it to the markets are incredibly long. Red meat can be very processed such as many other food products, this is why not eating locally can effect climate change negatively. As well as fresh fruits and vegetables especially during the winter time.
As many fruits are seasonal during the winter they are grown in places outside the U.S. They go through the transportation but not even from only around the U.S but from country to country which is even farther for the vegetables and fruits too come from causing even more fossil fuel. Michael Pollan, a writer of one of New York Times bestseller and writer of the book Omnivore’s Dilemma, a book named 10 best books of the year also shares a similar idea about food and climate change, he states “Naylor participates in an infinitely more complex industrial system of distribution to move all these elements around: the energy from Persian Gulf, the corn to the CAFOs, the animals to slaughter, and their meat finally to a Wal-Mart or McDonald’s near you” (Pollan 130).
The production of meat is harmful to the planet, they process it goes through is the animal which already is a huge contribution because the food they eat is grain based and that leads to the processing of the corn which takes a lot of traveling as well. The animals eat the grain then get slaughtered into the meat that we eat but before we eat it it goes through processing as some are low on fat or nutrients are added. It is transported to many places in non eco friendly truck a numerous amount of times before it goes to the market then onto our plate. Others may say otherwise but changing the way we eat can help contribute in a positive way to climate change.
Eating meat is not only harmful to Earth but is also very harmful to the human body.. Food production takes 30% of the world’s contribution to global warming and this does not come mostly from farming and plant based foods but from animal based products. Janet Raloff a founding board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists compares a meat eater and a vegan on their carbon footprint, “The diet of someone whose meals included an average of 50 to 99 grams (1.8 to 3.5 ounces) of meat each day would be responsible for the daily release of 5.6 kilograms (12.4 pounds) of CO2 equivalents, according to the new analysis.” (Raloff). Meat is one of the higher foods that humans consider delicious, but Americans especially don’t think twice about eating meat and grab it on the go or in a hurry to go home and cook.
Many meat eaters may say that meat is the only way for protein or good for you but in the book “Food Matters” by Holly Bauer the article “Eating Made Simple” written by Marion Nestle, it states that meat has the effects of “elevating blood cholesterol, along with raising risks for heart disease, cancer, and other conditions” (Nestle 42). Eating meat can be harmful for the human body and if avoided it only benefits us. We get protein from plants such as beans and more vegetables, it reduces one’s carbon footprint on the world so it is only a win win situation in the end as we are helping our bodies become healthier and as well as helping the earth become healthier.
Food production affects everyone on the planet but the country that is contributing the most to global warming by food production is the United States with the irrigation system and how much Americans consume. In the book “Food Matters” by Holly Bauer the article “Can We Feed the World and Sustain the Planet?” by Jonathan A. Foley states “As a result, many large rivers such as the Colorado, have diminished flows, some have dried up all together.”(Foley 299). This is because America wastes the most water than any other country. We use it in our everyday lives but what takes up a lot of it is the irrigation like America has. Unlike other countries most of America is made up of farm land which is in need of a lot of water in order for the plants, vegetables and grass to grow.
It may seem hypocritical as we should eat more veggies but the bigger picture is that we need to eat more vegetables than more meat because the most carbon produced is with meat rather than the irrigation. America leaves the biggest carbon footprint when it comes to meat consumption. Julie Cohen of the University of California states that the United States consumes 210 pounds of meat per capita, Canada and EU consume 150 pounds per capita, Russia 130, China 110, Japan 76, Egypt 57, and India with only 5 pounds per capita (Cohen). The United States eats 205 more pounds of meat per capita than India, a vegetable based eating country. We contribute more to global warming by what we eat compared to many other countries
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