Does what I eat have an effect on climate change?

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It certainly matters what we eat to combat climate change. Just take a look in the average supermarket what is offered for junk and then I am not even talking about the mountains of plastic packaging that you get. It is time for a total behavioral change when it comes to food and it is best to start informing our children about this and it is of course the responsibility of companies and governments to take the lead here.

Yes. The world’s food system is responsible for about one-quarter of the planet-warming greenhouse gases that humans generate each year. That includes raising and harvesting all the plants, animals and animal products we eat — beef, chicken, fish, milk, lentils, kale, corn and more — as well as processing, packaging and shipping food to markets all over the world. If you eat food, you’re part of this system.

How exactly does food contribute to global warming?

Lots of ways. Here are four of the biggest: When forests are cleared to make room for farms and livestock — this happens on a daily basis in some parts of the world — large stores of carbon are released into the atmosphere, which heats up the planet. When cows, sheep and goats digest their food, they burp up methane, another potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. Animal manure and rice paddies are also big methane sources. Finally, fossil fuels are used to operate farm machinery, make fertilizer and ship food around the globe, all of which generate emissions.

Cari Vander Yacht What did you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner yesterday? Take this short quiz to find out how much your choices contribute to climate change. Then, tell us: How did you score? How do your eating habits compare with those of other Americans? In “ Your […]

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