earth copyThe average American’s diet creates one and a quarter tons of carbon dioxide emissions per person every year.1

According to Time Magazine, our energy-intensive food system uses 19% of U.S. fossil fuels, more than any other sector of the economy.

It’s a fact: what we choose to buy and eat can help contribute to a better, healthier way.

Organic foods are more gentle on Mother Earth. Consider why:

  • Organic farmers leave soil and crop residue in the ground rather than digging it up (known as the ‘no-till’ method). That means organic farmers release less CO2 into the air by sequestering it in the earth.
  • Organic farming uses 50% less energy overall than traditional farming.
  • Smaller-scale organic farms use 60% less fossil fuel per unit of food than conventional industrial farms.2

If we turned all of our farmland in this country to organic and regenerative methodologies, where we’re putting basically cover crops or compost back into the soil and not using chemical fertilizers, we could mitigate 25 percent of our emissions in this country alone.
-Timothy LaSalle, CEO of the Rodale Institute. Read the transcript or view the video of LaSalle’s response to critics who say organic farming is unsustainable and produces smaller crop yields.

So yes – support, buy and eat organic.

Other top tips for a global warming diet include:

  • Eat grass-fed beef only: cows and ruminant chewing animals that graze on healthy  pastures reduces greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and overall energy consumption.
  • Go meatless one night a week: This is a great money saving tip and will create room in your budget to add more organic veggies to your diet.
  • Eat local: the closer the origins of your food, the less transportation and corresponding carbon emissions into the atmosphere. And the more likely your produce has been vine ripened which makes for delicious foods!
  • Eat in season: foods that are in season are usually in abundance and can be more affordable delicious!
  • Eat lower on the food chain: choose foods that consume fewer other foods and eat as much of a plant-based diet as possible (choosing organic, of course!)

Many people ask me if I eat locally conventionally grown foods, in other words foods sprayed with pesticides. My answer: no. Please don’t ask me to eat foods that have been sprayed with toxic chemicals, even if it is grown locally. If I told you to make a beautiful fresh garden vegetable soup and, oh by the way, pull out the ant and roach spray and lightly give your veggies a fine mist before cooking to ward off any pests that come crawling along your kitchen counter, would you do it? Probably not.

What are your favorite global warming diet tips?  Share them with others – we love hearing from you!

1Gidon Eshel and Pamela A. Martin, “Diet, Energy, and Global Warming,” Earth Interactions 10 (May 2005)
2Ready, Set, Green; Eight Weeks to Modern Eco Living, Graham Hill & Meaghan O’Neill