Meatless Monday Challenge

Do Our Food Choices Matter?

By Marley Goldin

Marley is a passionate recipe developer, food photographer, and advocate for making sustainable food choices.
Environmental Health Science (BS) University of Georgia
Healthcare Management (MS) — University of Central Florida

You are what you eat.

Your body is a temple.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

We’ve all heard these clichés a million times.

Collectively we’ve come to agree that what we eat matters to our overall health. But we rarely stop to think about our food choices affecting others, or what’s more, our planet.

The sad truth is, the way we produce, transport, and distribute food has a detrimental effect on our environment.

In these articles, you will learn how the food industry contributes to climate change, pollutants, microplastics, and food waste.

We will dive into our role as individuals in each of these topics and learn some small lifestyle changes we can make to lower our ecological footprint.

My hope is that arming you with this knowledge will empower you to make more sustainable food choices.

Let’s embrace the small changes we can make to our everyday lives in order to make a big impact over time.

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Climate Change

The food industry accounts for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The factors that contribute to these high emissions include deforestation, farming, energy used during processing, and transportation of your food products.

Here’s how these processes contribute to the climate crisis.

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Aside from contributing to climate change, pollutants from our current food supply chain are impacting the health of our water, soil, air, and wildlife.

So exactly what kind of relationship does the food industry have with pollution?

Let’s dig in.

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Despite recycling efforts, the sad truth is that only about 9% of plastics are recycled.

This leaves the rest to go to landfills or to be released into our environment, eventually making their way into our land, air, and waterways.

And the pesky thing about plastic is, it really doesn’t biodegrade. It takes hundreds, sometimes thousands of years to break down, just to become microplastics.

Find out what that has to do with food.

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Food Waste

It is estimated that a whopping 40% of food gets tossed annually in the United States.

It’s a systematic problem that needs to be addressed at every level of the food production process.

Find out when and where during the food process food waste happens.

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What Can We Do?

Many of the solutions needed are systemic and need to be lead by governments and industry.

But we can help advocate for that change with the choices we make as individuals. The great news is, there are food choices we can make to live more sustainably.

Learn 9 ways you can try!

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