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What should we eat ?


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I don't know where this subject should go so I put it in this section.


I am looking for an alimentation more respectufull of the environnenment. So I have began to ask myself : wich diet is the better for our environment ?

Do you have any thought on it ?


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I think you need to define what "respectful" means to you. Is eating meat 'respectful' of the environment? I imagine it is for some while it is not for others.

I suspect that 'better' falls under the overall heading of 'sustainable'.

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2 hours ago, sangui said:

Wich diet has the lowest impact on our planet while being healthy.

I don't think there is such a diet. You can minimise your impact by where you source your food though. If you buy local, you minimise transport costs. If you buy fresh, your food hasn't used energy while frozen.  If you don't buy packaged food, you reduce a whole load of industrial packaging activity. 

I buy my fruit and veg from a stall at a car boot sale. I'm pretty sure it's ex-supermarket stuff, which has been marked for removal from the shelves because the odd item has gone soft, or dry, etc. It's about a quarter to half of the normal price, so I'm happy, and it would otherwise have probably gone to land fill. 

If you can stop waste in some way, it makes a difference. I hardly ever throw food away. 

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Just to be argumentative ( because frankly, I don't care what you eat )...

If everyone buys 'fresh', there will be a lot of spoiled and wasted food.
:Fresh' doesn't usually last very long. I'll get scurvy because there won't be any 'fresh' fruit between October and May in Canada.
And a lot of people that rely on transported foods will go hungry ( think wheat/ grains, meats, seasonal produce, etc ).

It is modern technology, like cooling/freezing and preservatives, which allow food to be distributed to places which may not have any available, and to feed the world's population. ( I work for a company which makes/markets a non-flammable Phosphine based fumigant for grains/nuts/rice/etc. that will de-pest whole silos, and is applied from a cylinder )

It is only us gluttons in the western world that have the luxury of choice between 'fresh' and preserved/prepackaged

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It is true that it is important assess the net cost of production and distribution. For example a study (Weber and Mathews, Environ. Sci. Technol. 2008, 42, 3508–3513) has shown that on average transportation only accounts for 11% of the total carbon footprint. I.e. the vast majority of emission happens during production itself. From that, it appears the type of food is more important than distribution and storage.

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13 hours ago, MigL said:

frankly, I don't care what you eat

Me neither, I'm just replying hypothetically to the OP. The main drivers for me are cost and convenience. It's just a coincidence that my consumption doesn't generate much carbon or waste. I'm too mean to throw food away, unless it's dangerous. And the cheapest source for me is also planet friendly. 

I find that every time you try to think through a low impact food, it has drawbacks. 

People bang on about meat being worse for the planet, but when you actually take a look, it has pluses as well as minuses. Beef farms in the UK generally have more wildlife living them than crop farms. The fields are smaller, there is less ploughing, and the hedges and ponds are great for birds and amphibians etc. 

But grain grows more food on less land, reducing pressure on marginal land. It's hard to pick a winner. 

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Chickens require less nutrients to grow up than pigs and cows (which also produce methane gas). They are also cheaper and healthier for customer.

Fish farms are better for environment than fishing of wild fishes. Their population is under control of human. Fish farm does not deplete natural population of fishes, so they can reborn.



"Higher protein or calorie retention means higher efficiency.

The results show that, on average (weighted according to global production levels of the nine aquatic species studied), 100 g of protein in aquaculture feed will be converted into 19 g of protein for the human food supply (19% retention), and that 100 kcal of aquaculture feed will be converted into 10 kcal for the human food supply (10% retention). Protein retention ranges from 14%–28% for the aquatic species studied, and 13%–37% for the land species. Calorie retention ranges from 6%–25% for the aquatic species and 7%–27% for the land species. The best performers across all species considered are chickens, followed by Atlantic salmon."





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