Navigation Links
Why eating less can help the environment
Date:7/23/2008

An estimated 19 percent of total energy used in the USA is taken up in the production and supply of food. Currently, this mostly comes from non-renewable energy sources which are in short supply. It is therefore of paramount importance that ways of reducing this significant fuel consumption in the US food system are found. In a paper (1) just published in the Springer journal Human Ecology, David Pimentel and his colleagues at Cornell University in New York set out a number of strategies which could potentially cut fossil energy fuel use in the food system by as much as 50 percent.

The first, and very astute suggestion they put forward is that individuals eat less, especially considering that the average American consumes an estimated 3,747 calories a day, a staggering 1200-1500 calories over recommendations. Traditional American diets are high in animal products, and junk and processed foods in particular, which by their nature use more energy than that used to produce staple foods such as potatoes, rice, fruits and vegetables. By just reducing junk food intake and converting to diets lower in meat, the average American could have a massive impact on fuel consumption as well as improving his or her health.

Further savings are possible in the food production industry. The authors suggest that moving towards more traditional, organic farming methods would help because conventional meat and dairy production is extremely energy intensive. Similarly, in crop production, reduced pesticide use, increased use of manure, cover crops and crop rotations improve energy efficiency.

Finally, changes to methods of food processing, packaging and distribution could also help to reduce fuel consumption. Although well-established energy-saving considerations in lighting, heating and packaging materials all have their part to play, the authors again highlight individual responsibility as having the biggest impact. They contend that the most dramatic reduction in energy used for food processing would come about if consumers reduced their demand for highly processed foods. This would also help cut down food miles and its related fuel cost as US food travels an average of 2,400 km before it is consumed.

This study argues strongly that the consumer is in the strongest position to contribute to a reduction in energy use. As individuals embrace a 'greener' lifestyle, an awareness of the influence their food choices have on energy resources might be added encouragement for them to buy good, local produce and avoid highly processed, heavily packaged and nutritionally inferior food. As well as leading to a cleaner environment, this would also lead to better health.


'/>"/>

Contact: Melanie Lehnert
melanie.lehnert@springer.com
49-622-148-78414
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Gamma globulin effective in treating eye infections caused by adenoviruses
2. Eating competence may lower risk of heart disease
3. Alternative food networks connect ethical producers and consumers and can lead to healthier eating
4. Gregory Hannon wins 2007 Paul Marks Prize for contributions to understanding and treating cancer
5. Massive microRNA scan uncovers leads to treating muscle degeneration
6. Sirtris unveils promising, novel SIRT1 activators for treating diseases of aging
7. Having the climate cake and eating it, too
8. Hellish hot springs yield greenhouse gas-eating bug
9. Tiny pest-eating insect fights fruit flies
10. Building disease-beating wheat
11. International scientists tackle obstacles to treating brain disorders
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/22/2016)... According to the new market research report "Biometric System Market by Authentication ... (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact and Non-contact), Application, and Region - Global ... from USD 10.74 Billion in 2015 to reach USD 32.73 Billion by ... Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/19/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil and criminal ... monitoring, announced today that it has offered a challenge ... technology judge determine who has the largest and best ... platform, and the best customer service. "ICSolutions ... we do – which clearly is not the case ...
(Date:11/16/2016)... Sensory Inc ., a Silicon ... consumer electronics, and VeriTran , a technology ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... users of mobile banking and mobile payments solutions.  ... which requires no specialized biometric scanners, yet provides ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech ... Securities Exchange: PBT.U), is excited to announce the ... focused on developing preclinical ophthalmology assets through proof ... potent anti-inflammatory created by Portage Pharmaceuticals Limited and ... with ocular surface and anterior segment diseases. This ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... -- The Allen Institute for Cell Science has released ... collection of gene edited, fluorescently tagged human induced ... with unprecedented clarity. Distributed through the Coriell Institute ... crucial first step toward visualizing the dynamic organization ... cells healthy and what goes wrong in disease. ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016  Tempus, a technology company focused on ... Abramson Cancer Center have partnered to better determine ... immunotherapy treatment based on next generation genomic and ... a research collaboration, Tempus will provide sequencing and ... data to Penn. Utilizing next-generation sequencing, machine learning ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , 30. November 2016   Merck ... heute die Unterzeichnung einer Reihe von Vereinbarungen ... wird Evotec AG Screeningleistungen für Mercks Palette ... Der Zugriff auf diese Bibliotheken in Kombination ... einen schnelleren Weg zur Ermittlung und Erforschung ...
Breaking Biology Technology: