The first ripple is inward and has everything to do with how your body interacts with the food. The second ripple is outward; it is the effect your food decision has on the environment.
The point of impact is your mouth.
We Are What You Eat
Ultimately, the decisions made at the point of impact, have profound implications beyond your own personal health. Your decision has a global reach. “But we don’t have the luxury of philosophizing about food. With the exhaustion of the soil, the impact of global warming and the inevitably rising price of oil — which will affect everything from fertilizer to supermarket electricity bills — our industrial style of food production will end sooner or later. As the developing world grows richer, hundreds of millions of people will want to shift to the same calorie-heavy, protein-rich diet that has made Americans so unhealthy — demand for meat and poultry worldwide is set to rise 25% by 2015 — but the earth can no longer deliver. Unless Americans radically rethink the way they grow and consume food, they face a future of eroded farmland, hollowed-out countryside, scarier germs, higher health costs — and bland taste. Sustainable food has an élitist reputation, but each of us depends on the soil, animals and plants — and as every farmer knows, if you don’t take care of your land, it can’t take care of you.”
Initially, you need to approach your personal nutritional intake for the benefits it can provide… the immediate benefits that result from deriving your nutrients from Plants. Once that transition has occurred a second benefit arises and it is as equally powerful as the first.
The second benefit is the satisfaction received when you realize the effect your diet has on the environment. Livestock now use 30 per cent of the earth’s entire land surface.
I never really gave it much to thought; you buy the food, you cook the food, you eat the food. I was not thinking about how the food made it to my mouth.
The irony is the greatest single activity we can do for the environment is to adopt a Plant Based diet.
Mark Bittman recently commented in the New York Times: Five years ago, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization published a report called “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” which maintained that 18 percent of greenhouse gases were attributable to the raising of animals for food. The number was startling. A couple of years later, however, it was suggested that the number was too small. Two environmental specialists for the World Bank, Robert Goodland (the bank’s former lead environmental adviser) and Jeff Anhang, claimed, in an article in World Watch, that the number was more like 51 percent. It’s been suggested that that number is extreme, but the men stand by it, as Mr. Goodland wrote to me this week: “All that greenhouse gas isn’t emitted directly by animals. ”But according to the most widely-used rules of counting greenhouse gases, indirect emissions should be counted when they are large and when something can be done to mitigate or reduce them.”
Honestly, until last year I had no clue what I was doing or eating. I had no idea of the long-term damage I was causing my body. At the same time, however, I was very concerned with the environment. I recall writing an action paper that analyzed the reduction in energy needs if we all kept our tires inflated to the proper PSI… good thought, wrong action.
I did not realize at the time the food that was slowly killing me was also killing the environment. It stands to reason that nutrition that does not sustain health would also be detrimental to the long-term health of our planet.
We are at an inflection point in our history. We need to support our own health. As I have stated before, prioritize your Body over your Mind.
Make a commitment to support your health by embracing a Plant Based diet. Once that commitment is made you will realize the enormity of the impact it has on a myriad of issues.
We Are What You Eat
For a full report on livestock’s affect on the Earth: http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Livestock%20and%20Climate%20Change.pdf