October 2009 Issue
Finding a Scientific Connection Between Food Choices and the Environment
People are very concerned about the environmental impact of their food choices today. There’s proof that modern agricultural practices have resulted in polluted soil, air and water, eroded soil, dependence on imported oil and loss of biodiversity. The eco-friendliness of food choices covers a lot of territory—from food miles (the number of miles food travels to get to your plate) to the amount of water and synthetic inputs used on various crops. A current hot topic is the environmental cost of a diet high in animal protein. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations recently reported that livestock production is one of the major causes of the world’s most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution and loss of biodiversity.
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