The world is hurting, and we all need to do what we can to save it. Did you know that some of the foods you eat are doing huge amounts of damage to the planet?
Want to know a shocking statistic? To grow a single almond, we need to use 1.1 gallons of water. That’s not a very good ratio, but almond popularity is on the rise, with prices rising along with it. California is a big producer of almonds, but we should think about cutting down in order to save water and use it more efficiently.
2. Palm Oil
Palm oil is a bit of a hot topic right now. Rainforests are being cut down every day to help make this oil, which is used in countless products. The situation is so bad that many manufacturers have stopped using palm oil altogether or make use of sustainable sources instead. Production of the oil isn’t slowing down though, so something needs to be done.
Beef is one of the most popular meats in the world, but cows need way more looking after than most other animals. In fact, they need 11 times as much water as chickens or pigs, and 28 times more land. They’re also responsible for a huge percentage of greenhouse gas emissions, meaning they are making global warming even worse.
In times gone by, salmon was a bit of a luxury, but salmon farming has put an end to that. These huge farms are filled with countless fish. The problem is that viruses and diseases can easily spread among these salmon, and if any of them escape, they can also do major damage to the surrounding area.
Statistically speaking, lambs produce more greenhouse gases, relative to their weight, than cows. They’re contributing to climate change and they don’t even have a whole lot of meat to offer.
6. Processed Foods
Well this one is pretty obvious, it’s in the name! Processed foods have to be – you guessed it – processed! This process uses time and energy. In fact, almost 1/5 of all energy use in the U.S. is spent on processing foods like cookies, chips and candy.
7. Bluefin Tuna
The worst issue with bluefin tuna is the way in which they are caught. The boat make use of a method called “longlining”, in which hooks are lowered down and simply dragged along for miles and miles, smashing pretty much anything in their path. This means that any other sealife that happens to be in the area will be killed.
Toast isn’t the biggest culprit on the list, but it still contributes to climate change. This is because, by toasting bread, you’re taking a perfectly edible piece of food and wasting extra energy just to make it crispy.
We talked about cows earlier, and the same logic applies to cheese. The cows need a lot of resources and they also pump out methane and other gases that harm the ozone layer. Goats and sheep are equally damaging.
Over 10% of our methane emissions can be pinned on rice production, and this process also uses more than 30% of our fresh water supply. Those statistics are enough to prove that rice is one of the biggest culprits on our list.
Soybeans contribute to deforestation, with huge swathes of South American forests being completely destroyed in the hunt for these little beans. Fortunately, Brazil has put some laws in place to cut down on the ecological impact of soybean cultivation.
12. High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Used in countless processed foods for added sweetness, this syrup is not very friendly to the planet. It’s so popular that it needs to be grown in huge quantities, damaging the soil and also requiring excessive use of pesticides.