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Anna Lappe

Anna Lappe

Posted: May 14, 2010 03:49 PM

Seven Principles of a Climate-Friendly Diet (PHOTOS)

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Dinner may feel a far cry from the climate crisis, but the global food system--how we raise crops and livestock, where we farm, and what we do with the waste--contributes to a whopping one-third of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. (And there are all those other ecological impacts, too, from a pre-oil spilldead zone in the Gulf of Mexico to depleted aquifers across the U.S. farm country and ag regions around the globe.)

Want to reduce your "ecological foodprint"? Choosing a climate-friendly diet is one way to reduce your global impact. The good news is reaching for the healthy climate choice also means helping your health... and waistline, too.

You may have even been following these principles, guided by good food luminaries like Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle who summed it all up neatly back in 2006: "eat less, move more, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and don't eat too much junk food."

See how your diet stacks up by checking out these seven principles of a climate-friendly diet. For more inspiration to make climate-friendly choices, check out my latest book Diet for a Hot Planet and the resources at the Center for Food Safety's Cool Foods Campaign.

Here's to cool eating!

Reach for Real Food
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Processed foods are chock-full of ingredients that add a big emissions toll to our food, and usually aren’t too healthy for us either.

Take the Pop Tart. Among its tasty ingredients? Gelatin, made from by-products of the meat and leather industries; sodium pyrophosphate, commonly used in household detergents; and Tert-Butylhydroquinone (THBQ), a preservative, also found in household varnishes; three artificial colorants, including Red No. 40, banned in many EU countries because of human health concerns; and, palm oil. The second most-traded vegetable oil in the world, palm oil is found in most cookies, crackers, granola bars, and more. The global warming connection? Ninety-eight percent of palm oil is produced in Malaysia and Indonesia on former forests that have been cleared and burned, releasing tons of greenhouse gases. Steer clear of Pop Tarts and their processed food brethren and choose real food.
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