Green Heart

It's my life and I'm trying to live it healthy, happy and enviromentaly friendly.

Environmental impact of different foods

on January 8, 2012

Did you know that different foods make different impacts on our environment and our planet in general? Some people don’t realize that, but here is some statistics to give you a better picture of what I’m talking about.

Here are estimated virtual water requirements for various crops (m³ water/ton crop):
Potatoes – average: 133
Milk – average: 738
Maize – average: 1020
Wheat – average: 1437
Soybeans – average: 2517
Rice – average: 2552
Eggs – average: 3519
Poultry – average: 3809
Cheese – average: 5288
Pork – average: 5469
Beef – average: 16726
Source: Wikipedia
Here is a great research with even more information about water trade and consumption. It is much more specific and it considers different countries and their water supplies and so on.

Let’s give you another example. Did you ever think about how much fuel is needed to produce meat? A lot more than for grains, fruits or vegetables. Farmers need to produce a lot of wheat or corn or other grains that are used as food for animals. They use fuel to sow, to reap, to transport food to where animals are, then they have to transport the animals to slaughter houses, from there the meat needs to be packed (usually in plastic packages…), then it has to be transported to retailers… Now think about how much transport do grains need? A lot less! There is less fuel needed, which means there is not so much emissions from huge trucks.

So, I guess these statistics tell a lot about meat industry and how consuming it really is. Looks like being vegaterian or vegan is not just healthy, but it’s also very ecological and enviromentaly friendly. And let’s not forget how many animals can be saved if you cut out the meat from you menu!
Think about this… maybe you can do this for the planet if not for you!

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2 responses to “Environmental impact of different foods

  1. Hmmm, since statistics are maleable, I would like to see more in depth data. I imagine regionally, those numbers change all around. As for cutting meat to be green – there are much more critical footprint shrinkers out there….but I guess everything counts.

  2. Anja says:

    I know I’ve seen more statistics about this, but I can’t remember where, so I couldn’t include that. And yes, these number change from country to country, but these are quite right for most of western countries (US, Europe), because we have a lot different meat industry than some other countries.
    But yes, there are a lot more footprint shrinker, but believe it or not, this is one of the biggest! And don’t get me wrong, I’m not forcing people to be vegans, but I’d like to give them information about why this is good – then it’s up to people to decide what they will do.

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