Nineteen percent of the US energy use is for the production and supply of food!
A recent study at Cornell University showed that this energy use could be cut in half by eating less calories, (the average American eats 3,747 calories a day!) eating less meat, junk food and highly processed foods, and by switching to traditional, organic farming methods, reducing packaging, and rethinking food distribution.
Keep in mind that in addition to not being good for you, the farmer, and the planet, most chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are made from petroleum products.
A 2006 study at the University of Chicago showed that the average American diet required a ton and a half more carbon dioxide equivalent (includes carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases) than a strict vegetarian diet.
Also in 2006, The United Nations released a report that said that cattle production is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation globally. On September 8th of this year, Rajendra Pachauri, who chairs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asked the citizens of the world to give up meat at least once a week in an effort to fight global warming. He suggests we start at one night a week and gradually increase from there.
I know some of my readers are already vegetarians. Good for you! (Glad you are not still eating an apple and a coke for lunch anymore though.) Here at our house we gave up beef, milk, and eggs a while ago due to our little one’s intolerance. Well, the husband still eats them sometimes when we are not around. I also don’t eat soy. While not a meat, soy can contribute to the problem because of how it is now grown. Pigs and chickens however, are still fair game. I can’t give up everything! I buy only organic, free range chicken and try to get pasture raised pork, though that is difficult and expensive as the only place I’ve seen it around here is Whole Foods. Trader Joe’s carries ham steaks from Niman Ranch that Beck likes, so I get him that without guilt.
If we all try to do our part reducing our animal product consumption we can go a long way in reducing greenhouse gases and oil use.
Drill, baby, drill? No – Veg, baby, veg!