Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Myth: Our food choices don’t affect the environment.

Answer: Busted!

What we eat matters. The food choices we make every day have a big effect on the environment. How food is grown, stored, transported and processed can influence the environment.

Trucking, shipping and flying in food from around the country and the globe takes a toll on the environment and on public health. Food waste (discarded packaging and food) ends up in landfills and requires additional transportation to get it there.

The good news is that even small changes in what we buy and eat can add up to real environmental benefits. What can we do?

  • Eat local. Buying local can reduce pollution and energy use associated with transporting and storing food. It can provide fresher, more flavorful and nutritious food, support local farmers and the local economy, and create a sustainable food system.

  • Buy foods with less packaging.

  • Compost food waste.

  • Visit your local farmers market.

Eating “green” can mean eating fresher, healthier foods while reducing your grocery bill and supporting local farmers.

Contributor: Karen Sherbondy, RD, LD, Extension Associate, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri Extension,

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