HAPPY EARTH DAY!
April 22nd, 2019 marks Earth Day on our calendars this year. In the past on this day, you have probably been challenged to limit your electricity usage, to go around and pick up plastic off of the side of the road, to try composting, you name it. While those are all great things that should be practiced regularly, has anyone ever asked you to cut down on your meat consumption to help our mother Earth? What about buying organic produce? “No,” you say, “but I have been told to do so for health reasons.”
While these are definitely great healthy lifestyle choices (over consumption of meat is pro inflammatory, and the average person consumes roughly a gallon of pesticides each year from consuming regular, non-organic fruits and vegetables), these choices can also have a great impact on our environment. Curious to know how? Keep reading!
Beef, Poultry and Fish
First of all, I don’t want to completely shame meat. In moderation, quality sources of meat and poultry have plenty of benefits. At the same time, there is no question that consuming too much can be detrimental to one’s health. But, the pros and cons of meat in relation to health are a different topic for a different day. When it comes to meat consumption and its effects on the environment, let’s look at the facts. One pound of beef requires 6,810 litres of water to produce. 350 million acres of land have been cleared for cattle feed in the last 100 years from increased demand. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus are released into the environment from excess waste. Conventional meat is high in a type of saturated fat that contains POP’s (Persistent Organic Pollutants) which have been shown to have harmful effects on the environment due to their resistance to biodegradation.
Think you’re doing the environment a solid by just having fish every day instead? Maybe not. Over 85% of the world’s fisheries have been pushed past the point of collapse. Overfishing has led to a need for “bottom trawling”, which essentially is taking a weighted net and dragging it across the ocean floor. This is awful for our oceans, it kills coral reefs, and is partially why the shark population is decreasing. And NO, that is NOT a good thing.
Pesticides, Herbicides, and Fungicides
When we’re talking about organic food, we are referring to food that is grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, GMOs, antibiotics, growth hormones, you get the idea. I think it goes without being said that this is obviously a healthier option to put on the table every night. Use of these chemicals goes far beyond health risks, however. Modern agricultural practices use synthetic fertilizers and forms of pest/weed/fungus management that inevitably run off into our waterways. This not only contaminates the water that WE use, but it also is horrendous for the wildlife that inhabits these areas where runoff is most dense. Years of soil erosion, excessive crop removal, gaseous losses, pesticide damage, lack of crop rotation, etc. have led to alarming rates of vitamin and mineral depletion in our soil. To put this into perspective; you would have to eat 8 oranges to get the same nutrients as 1 that our grandparents would have had as children, and 43 bowls of spinach to get the same nutrient profile as 1. How can we possibly think that this is affecting only us? This goes much, much deeper than we can imagine.
What Can We Do?
To put it simply, BUY LOCAL, BUY ORGANIC. By doing so, we are contributing to a wonderful cause that is working towards a more sustainable environment. Can’t afford to buy all organic? Try following the “Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen” produce list (https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php) on your next grocery trip. Before you purchase something, EVEN if it’s organic, maybe take a quick look at the company that makes this product. Who are you supporting? Is it a multi-million-dollar company with questionable production methods? Knowledge is everything, and the more we become aware of our actions, the more of an impact we can make.
If you are looking for a quality source of protein to add to your everyday lifestyle that will not increase your ecological footprint, AMIE uses vegan, organic brown rice protein in your customized blend. In addition, AMIE also incorporates a wide variety of active, bioavailable forms of vitamins and minerals that we may be lacking in due to years of modern farming practices. Incorporating our product into your monthly budget is a wonderful step towards a better life for not only you, but the Earth just as well.