Autumn is here and it is time to turn our attention to the food we eat. I’ve heard many people complain that they gained weight during our lockdown time with Covid. This winter we may find ourselves in the same situation of having to avoid indoor gatherings and spending more time in the confines and comfort of our own homes. So how do we avoid packing on additional weight this winter? Fortunately there is an answer to consider. Even better, the answer is also good for our ever-in-peril environment.
If you haven’t heard by now, eating meat has a very nasty effect on our environment. Well, not the eating of the meat but everything that needs to happen in order to get that meat to your plate is what harms the environment. According to Frances Moore Lappe in her seminal book, “Diet for a Small Planet,” it takes 16 pounds of grain and soybean to produce just one pound of meat. All that grain and soybean take gallons and gallons of water and fertilizer not to mention toxic weed killers like Glyphosate (main ingredient of Roundup) to grow. The ramifications
of eating meat include pollution of our waterways, wasteful use of water, over farming of the fields the grain and soybeans are grown on, ingestion of toxins from the use of the glyphosate and other chemicals and of course, the methane production of keeping the cattle in feedlots. Also, we cannot forget the inhumane conditions the animals are kept in
before they become the steak on our plates. This list, unfortunately, is not complete at all. In order to list all the ways that eating meat harms our earth and the humans and other creatures that reside here I’d have to write
a book. Fortunately we have one in “Diet for a Small Planet.”
I realize that the idea of becoming
vegetarian or vegan is quite overwhelming
and I am certainly not advocating that.
But how about if we all just try to eat less
meat? And what if we try to make the meat
we do eat come from humanely raised,
grass fed and finished sources? What if we
try to eat more organic fruits and vegetables
and we make the vegetable the shining star of
more meals? Even just eating smaller portions of meat can help to make a difference. Changing diets away from processed foods and meats and sugar and eating more organic vegetables, fruits and whole
grains has been shown to improve health by decreas- ing diabetes, heart disease, obesity and many other inflammatory illnesses. Any change in the direction of healthier eating and away from processed foods and sugar and meat is going to make a difference on all counts. No change is too small.
So, consider making some small changes away from the junk and toward better health. You will be helping yourself, the environment, the animals and you’ll also be sending a message to the big compa- nies that have a monopoly on the food industry and don’t seem to care about our health, animal’s health or even the health of the planet. Who knew that eating less meat could be so impactful? For more reading on this very important topic, please consider reading Frances Moore Lappe’s , “Diet for a Small Planet.” Until next time, eat healthy, be happy, wash your hands and stay well.