Letter: Food choices can help save our planet
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to email@example.com or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.
To the editor:
Food is a powerful connector, not only between humans, but between humans and the earth. As we look forward to Earth Day in April 2022, now is a good time to consider our food choices and how those choices impact our planet. According to the New York Times, “The world’s food system is responsible for about one-quarter of the planet-warming greenhouse gases that humans generate each year.”
Perennial grass based animal agriculture has a positive impact on the climate and the land by capturing carbon in the deep roots of the grasses. Patronizing meat and dairy farmers close to home. You may find that prices don’t always follow the grocery stores, but the quality is a better bang for the buck in flavor and nutrition.
Not only do food choices matter, but so does food waste. Americans end up throwing out 20% of the food they buy. Minimizing waste is an easy way to curb emissions.
So, what can we do? Buy only as much food as you can eat, and compost what isn’t used. Try to eat more plants and less meat and dairy (cheddar or mozzarella can have a significantly larger footprint than chicken or pork!). Almond, oat, and soy milk all have a smaller greenhouse gas footprint than cow’s milk. Wild fish have a lower carbon footprint than chicken or pork. Avoid plastic and reduce food packaging waste when you shop by using your own containers and bags. Consider how far your food purchases have traveled to get to your plate. Find food that is locally grown and has traveled the least distance to your plate.
These are just a few gentle actions we can all take to help save our planet. Find more at: https://yaleclimateconnections.org/