By Ed Marroni
Did you know stopping or reducing your consumption of meat and cheese would be an effective way to decrease your carbon dioxide footprint?
The Environmental Working Group recently calculated the ecological impact of 20 foods and found that many animal-based products have a sizable carbon footprint. This group stated that if every American family stopped eating meat and cheese for one day a week, it would be equivalent to their driving 91 BILLION less miles a year. In terms of carbon dioxide emission, eating a pound of beef would be about the same as driving 27 miles! Eating one pound of cheese is akin to driving more than 13 miles. Since the average American consumes 31 pounds of cheese annually, those miles add up.
Us senior folks can remember that before the 1960’s abstaining from meat products every Friday was a church law. Now, perhaps, we can abstain out of concern for our Earth and its creatures. Instead of choosing animal-based products that take a toll on our body AND the planet, opt for foods like lentils, beans, tofu, nuts, tempe, rice, pastas and even fish (which has a lower environmental impact).
There is an ample supply of recipes to instruct one on how to prepare meals using these ingredients as well as many others. To have a meatless/cheese-less meal one or two nights each week does not have to be a big sacrifice for you, but can substantially help reduce harmful effects on the environment.