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How to Combat Climate Change with What You Eat


How to Combat Climate Change with What You Eat

Cameron Harsh

Last month, Center for Food Safety (CFS) launched a new report and website for consumers seeking to disrupt the intensive confinement model of food animal production. With sections including “Ten Reasons to Opt Out,” and “How to Opt Out of Industrial Meat,” EndIndustrialMeat.org outlines the “why’s” and “how’s” of keeping factory-raised meat and poultry off your plate.


Add a bullet point for surface and ground water pollution caused by dense concentrations of livestock, especially poultry and hogs. While the everyday water problems caused by these meat factories are bad enough, unusual circumstances and natural disasters greatly exacerbate these problems as we have witnessed this month in North Carolina.


Yeah, eating foods that are shipped by fossil-fueled means from as far away as Bolivia (quinoa) will really lower your carbon footprint.

Same with a lot of certified organic stuff. Regarding produce, if the choice is from you local region but not certified-organic, or organic from the other side of the country, Mexico, Europe (in winter organic bell peppers in my area come, presumably by airplane, from greenhouses in the Netherlands for some reason), or god-forbid, Israel, then go local non-organic, or do without fresh produce in winter like they did in the old days - buy canned or take up home-canning.

And no, going vegan is still not going to begin to offset driving a car every day.


Buying local and buying bulk will also reduce packaging waste.
And of course, raise your own if you can. Some people do patio pot gardening.


There is quinoa being grown The the US. In fact right near me in southeastern PA. And more and more small farms are testing out the many varieties across the country. You just have to make a small effort look for it locally. Most regions have organic farms. Again you have to take a few extra minutes to seek them out. When we lived in AZ we belonged to a great CSA. We do here as well in PA. They are everywhere and give you an opportunity to try many things not found in grocery stores. They also give advice on cooking and recipes if you are unfamiliar with vegetarian/vegan cooking.
I freeze peppers for winter use. We also have ones grown in a local greenhouse throughout the winter which is powered only by solar and rammed earth design. Again ask your CSA - there are ways to freeze both veggies and fruits so they are not slimy and soggy. We also can a bit and swap with others who can things I am not good at. Again found the person through our CSAs.
I live in the Philly suburbs - home of McMansion subdivisions. If I can find this stuff without too much trouble - ANYONE can. You have to want to.


You cannot avoid climate change with personal action, except for personal action to change political structures. I’ve been doing it my whole life, but now, with climate catastrophe, making changes in personal consumption are nearly meaningless.

Get involved in politics. Organize.


I understand and share your frustration but doing the right thing is NEVER meaningless. You never know who is watching and when a seed is planted.