Do you ever wonder, what am I really eating and how is the food I am eating affecting the world or the environment I live in? Since mankind was introduced to industrialization especially the new farming methods, the way we as people produce food has had a negative effect on environment. Here are a few food conscious thoughts.
So what exactly is a carbon footprint? A carbon foot print is a way of measuring the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere as a result of our daily actions. An access amount of these gases is harmful to the environment and contributes to global warming (melting of snow in the North Pole, longer and colder winters, and stormier weather).
Greenhouse gases include water, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide being the most widespread/common. Carbon foot print activities such as burning fossil fuels from driving your car or using electricity all contribute to the releasing of greenhouse gases. You as an individual indirectly also contribute to the amount of greenhouse gases is being given off when buying food. For an example, if you buy imported items, you need to consider the amount of CO2 that was created in transporting and refrigerating them.
Consider how you travel to work every day, how often you fly, what you eat and where your food comes. To help reduce the amount of greenhouses gases given off, make use of public transport instead of your cars. Exercise by walking to the shop or walk to work, if close by. Switch to energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, recycle and buy second- hand goods. In this way you’re helping protect the planet ( animals , plants, earth and atmosphere).
WHAT IS YOUR COOK PRINT?
Your cook print is the total carbon footprint of your meal-meal from farm to fork. It increases every time heat (fuel such as gas or paraffin) is used during cooking. The cost of your meal affects not only your pocket but the planet too.
ORGANIC VERSUS FREE RANGE
|ORGANIC– Food has been certified at farms and during processing. No artificial food additives or chemical have been added to product. It also means that synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers weren’t used during farming and no genetically modified ingredients or products are present.||FREE RANGE– Animals are allowed to roam freely instead of being contained in any manner. Indicates that the animal has been allowed access to the outside although it does not specify the quality or size of the outside range nor the duration of time an animal must have access to the outside.|
ETHICAL VERSUS ECO FRIENDLY
Eating ethically means to strive to make educative decisions about what you eat and the impact it has on animals, communities and the environment.
Environmentally friendly means, earth friendly. It’s also commonly referred to as ‘green products’ which contributes towards protecting resources such as water and energy. By engaging in eco-friendly habits you become more conscious about your surroundings/environment.
When you see Free trade on a label, you know the food/product your buying is produced in an ethical way. Buying fair trade products means your supporting fair labour practices, the protection of sensitive natural areas and the safe handling of pesticides and wastes. Fair trade products are genetically modified.
Refers to the distance food has been transported from the time of its production to the time it reaches you. There is still a lot of researching going on which is better buying food locally or support small-scale farmers in developing countries. The concept of food miles doesn’t take into account the social, political and the ongoing issues of food production and consumption.