Greetings from Frugivore for the New Year!
2020 is not only a new year but commencement of a new decade. The difference is that this new decade will be much more important than the previous one due to the current scenarios. Climate change is no more a hoax, but a defining urgent issue of our times. Climate Emergency includes radical global temperature changes, global heat, wildlife extinction and pollution. While we may think what much we can do to tackle such important life defining issues with our little resources, but people like Greta Thunberg will always pop out to burst our thought bubble and make us realize the ground realities. The reality is frightening but hopeful. Each one of us is responsible for the Planet we have and more importantly the Planet we want to have for future.
This blog is not to convert you into a climate change activist, but only to provide little insights about how YOU can make a DIFFERENCE. Difference which can seem insignificant now but will prove to be the turning point when we talk 10 years down the line. The time to act is now, not 2050, not 2030, not 2021 but NOW. We will be further discussing how we can change what means the most to us – Food. Today, everything we eat – from Beef to Avocados, Cheese to Chocolate, Almond to Soy Milk, Pork to Peanut Butter – has their share of environmental cost. Let’s talk how our food habits can help initiate a change.
1. Going Plant Based:
Food contributes to one fourth of the total global greenhouse gas emissions. But more startling is that more than half of these food emissions come from Animal products. We have emphasized this earlier and will again do; total Veganism may not be practically possible but sustainable food habits is the need of the hour. So our immediate decision is to invest in a more plant based diet. Fruit & Vegetables, Nuts & Seeds, and Grains & Legumes all fall under plant based diet. Reducing your Meat intake slightly will reduce your carbon footprint significantly as Animal Agriculture is a major contributor to the amount of Methane in our atmosphere which is a severe greenhouse gas. If you are already convinced, look at some pointers which you can include daily.
- Replace Eggs with Chia, Flax or Vegan Egg Replacer.
- More Lentils, less Meat
- Hummus, Pesto or Guacamole instead of Mayo.
2. Replacing Dairy Products:
We may not see this as an alarming issue because it is not in our faces, but is as damaging as Meat consumption. Actually, dairy is another end result of Animal Agriculture, impact of which we have already discussed earlier. Also, as Indians, we are immensely dependent on dairy products. Milk and byproducts like Curd, Yogurt, Paneer, Butter, Cream and some more are popularly used. It’s often said that India is over using Dairy just as the West is doing with Meat. Thus, we need to reduce our daily dairy consumption. Start slow, try to accommodate almond/soy milk, coconut oil or fermented cheese more in your diet. Again, little effort is going to reap significant change.
3. Preventing Food Wastage:
One third of the total food produced in the world goes to waste. This food is more than enough to feed each human in need due to malnutrition. Apart from being a moral concern, wasting food is a serious environmental issue. With all the wasted food, all the resources used in production – water, soil, transportation, packaging etc is also wasted. Moreover, majority of the wasted food goes to landfills, where it rots producing Methane, a greenhouse gas. As the global population grows, we need to use food as effectively as we can. Some easy tips are:
- Plan your purchase: Buy what you really need.
- Store and Freeze carefully
- Utilize or donate leftovers
Hope this blog post provides some insightful information and startling comprehension. All of us are in this together, priviledged or not, climate change has a global impact. Let's do our bit to make change when it's necessary.
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