(1) What are some ways that people can help heal the planet through their food choices?

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Abstract

The article explains strategies of appropriate food choices that can be implemented to facilitate improved living environments within the entire world. The article provides explanations about factors contributing to climate changes. The documents outline an overview of major problems associated with food production and their contributions to the global environment. The paper gives possible solutions to problems leading to climatic changes, global warming, and greenhouse effects as well pollution to the marine ecosystem. The article provides an outline of different food choice practices that should be embraced to provide environmental balance. The article suggests eating habits and practices that should be avoided while dealing with food choices. The document provides safe methods for growing food crops, as well as various methods that business sectors such as restaurants should embrace in making foods. Appropriate energy conserving methods, as well as practices that contribute to the secure environment, are suggested.

Introduction

Various choices that we make on a daily basis contribute to major impacts in the world around us. The simple choices we make including some plastic bags we carry from the grocery shop, to how we prepare morning coffee and eventually type of toilet paper we use to create an impact on our planet. Aquatic habitats, land covered with ice, plain glass, towering trees, sand deserts cannot escape the influence of food we choose.  Food chain cycle is a process of foods production that involves scientific, natural, and manmade production of food materials. Food production contributes and affects the climate changes in our daily lives. Influences of hydrocarbons cause the relationship between food and climate changes. The effects that are associated with food production include increased greenhouse effects. Accumulation of gasses such as methane and nitrous acid causes global warming in the planet. Statistics analysis according to United Nations Food and Agricultural Production (FAO) reveal that livestock farming and production contribute to 18% of greenhouse gasses that cause global warming (Laura, 2012). Transported food, for example, imported food staffs contribute to approximately 11% of global warming effects. Chemically produced food materials as well farming using chemical compounds contribute to about 73% of global warming.  80% of total emissions in the environment are produced from activities related to scientific farming activities (Macklin, 2015). An assessment from packaged citric products (orange packages) revealed entire life cycle of its production to consumption much of contents are usually synthetic fertilizer compounds found on orange gloves.

 

Problem Statement

One of the areas affected by food choices includes grassland regions.  Grassland environments support herding activities, pastoralists, and nomadic livestock rearing. The introduction of cattle, sheep, and goats for food production has led to the destruction of our natural grass vegetation. FAO statistics revealed that about 33% of the land is used to grow livestock feeds, while 26% of the land is applied to grazing cattle.  Thus, livestock farming consumes over 50% of land in the entire planet. Livestock competes with native species for various sources such as water, space, and food. Competition has contributed to degradation and causing chemical emissions within the entire world. Imbalance of resources has led to a lack of better methods to control effects of pollution coming from livestock farming (Laura, 2012).

Food production has also created ripple effects on major coral reefs and marine environments. Coral reefs act as a habitual environment for millions of marine species. Due to effects of food production, environmental, climatic conditions have changed contributing to changes that affect the marine environment. Due to increased temperatures as a result of global warming, greenhouse effects, as well as emissions of hydrofluorocarbons has led to largest threats to coral reefs. Ocean water has grown warmer, and ph scale has lowered becoming more acidic (Laura, 2012).  Acidity and high temperature result to coral bleaching where coral reefs lose symbiotic algae that sustain their life, causing the immature death of coral vegetation. Changes in the rise of water temperature by one degree contribute to denaturing of coral reefs, and they die. According to FAO reports, livestock production contributes to about to approximately 14.5% of greenhouse effects that cause heating in sea environments. The big portion of marine live highly affected by food production choices especially meet and daily industry (Live Science Staff, 2006).

Other agricultural activities also contribute toward degradation of environments through the production of Harmful Algae Blooms (HAB’s). Agricultural activities act as a major source of nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen chemical compounds. Such compounds get washed away and are taken to marine environments where the trigger growth and development of algae. Some algae are highly toxic and contribute to poisonings marine habitats such as fish, lots, and shellfish. Such operations affect growth of economy along coastlines as well as affecting other areas that depend on the marine environment. Various toxic elements and chemical compounds are caused by increased application of inorganic fertilizers, overgrazing as well as a persistent choice of wrong methods of feeding and feeding habits.

Solution

Hence, global problems that included global warming, hydrofluorocarbons, acidic nitrous gasses and other poisonous compounds can be solved through making good choices of foods consumed. Depletion of the ozone layer, as well as increased effects of skin diseases such as skin cancer, can be controlled through organic farming and better practices in choosing sources of food. Choosing to buy food stuff that is grown and developed organically can guarantee effective control of climatic changes (Ahmed, & Troell, 2010). Local production of consumable products can contribute to the better maintenance of good and friendly climatic conditions.

Best Practices in Food Choice

During shopping process, it is advisable to look for products with minimal packaging. Human should prefer unwrapped food staffs such meat straight from the butcher. Excessive packaging materials are usually made up of nonconsumable and nondecaying compounds. Such wastes end upland fields where agricultural practices are done (Koç, 2007). Individuals should avoid products sealed using polystyrene made from Styrofoam and hydrocarbons. Foods packed using polystyrene contribute to increasing of carcinogen compound and is also manufactured using energy-guzzling processes that produce other poisonous wastes that include greenhouse gasses. Avoid purchasing expensive bottled packed staffs such as water. Saving money for better and productive means can lead to better caring of our planet.  Various alternative methods can easily access safe water for drinking and other uses. People should prefer local methods of treating water for drinking such as boiling (Lavorel, & Hutchings, (2013). Boiling water for consumption reduces the number of plastic bottles manufactured for packaging water and saves money. Reusable containers should be used to carry drinking water to avoid solid wastes that increase global warming when burnt.

Individuals should practice eating locally available food material. Hydrofluorocarbons that result to depletion of O-Zone layer are reduced through eating fresh food with more retained nutrients (Laura, 2012). Food shipped or stored for long emits its chemical compounds resulting to global warming. Foods obtained directly from the farm are best for conserving planet’s climatic conditions. Its energy is not wasted, and it is not emitted in the environment to cause harm to surroundings. Local foods should be preserved in cool places such as refrigerators to avoid causing extra damages when they become stale (Saptomo, et al., 2009). However, they should be harvested for consumption when needed.

People should prefer local and organic food materials that have a high level of retaining value of planet’s safety. Consumers, sellers, and distributors should prefer dealing with certified organic foods for environmental conservation purposes. Food manufacturers and canning industries should implement organic methods of producing and packaging food materials (Zimmerman, et al., 2003). They should implement the application of methods that allow recycling of resources and raw materials used in food processing. Agricultural individuals, companies as well as large scale producers should grow food through the application of organic manure. The practices applied in the agricultural production of food materials should highly promote biodiversity, health security as well as environmentally friendly practices (Tracy, 2014). Various methods of agricultural production applied should avoid the use of synthetic pesticides and bioengineered genes. Food staffs should be grown in clean environments that are not contaminated with industrial wastes or chemical disposals such as petroleum wastes, sewage sludge or another form of fertilizers.

Consumers should practice eating raw food if possible. Raw food consumption has direct consumption of nutrient compounds as well as real-time absorption of nutrients. The practice onconsumption of raw food helps in reducing unnecessary utilization of energy. Eating raw foods is a method of saving and conserving naturally occurring sources of energy. Consumers should alternate raw foods with cooked foods, for example, consumers should plan to have meal of fruits, raw carrots, and other locally available ready to consume products (Didham, et al., 2015).  Individuals should prefer eating based on particular seasonal foods. Seasonal foods encourage depending on locally available foods. Seasonal products are usually cheap and easily available thus making it more economical (Tahir, et al., 2006). Living according to seasons allows the enabling environment to have mutual maintenance of its inhabitants thus supporting the individuals maximally. However, forcing the environment to produce more or what it can’t support in particular season becomes a threat and pollution to the environment.

Growing food materials, that matter supports personal health and environment. Consumers within a family should have a plan to grow and maintain family gardens that feed a family with fresh vegetables, fresh fruits as well as raw products. Community support agriculture (CSA) should be encouraged. The environments provide enough space and resources to support community. With little efforts from individuals, the community can determine their meals through community-based production o-f food materials. Different families within a community should specialize on a particular type of food that can be exchanged with other individuals in the community. Such cycle encourages individuals to have enough food products without depending on foods exported from other regions and places within the community (Jonsson, et al., 2012).

Another method of sustaining environmental friendly ecosystems is ensuring that the food available is stored well for later use. Excess food staffs produced during a particular season should be stored for future consumption. Good storehouses should be developed to facilitate storage of local foods (Rahman, 2010). Grain products should be dried and preserved using local methods. Fruits and vegetables should also be preserved for future use. Fruits should not be allowed to be destroyed by birds and another wild animal. Lack of preserving food will force people to use extra efforts in production to haste growth and develop using chemicals hence contributing to applying o f chemicals while growing food (French, et al., 2009). Food staffs that remain without being consumed should be composed for organic manure. They should be applied to grow other crops since they are not contaminated with chemicals. Such cycle will ensure the effective and efficient provision of a good environment.

Marine or sea products are highly recommended as human-friendly as well as environmentally friendly. Consumers should prefer fish products directly from well identified large water bodies where there is no influence of human cultivation. Eating wild fish ensure that local individuals will struggle to provide marine products always. However available marine products within local areas must have a permit from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) that ensure that individuals have grown their fish products through environmentally friendly methods (Elizabeth, 2014). Wild sea products consumers should know the type of sea products they should consume. Consumers should be specific in their choice to ensure that they have right products from identifiable and reliable sources. The conditions in which fish were caught should be clear.  Fish trapping should implement acceptable methods. Use of chemical compounds as well as other herbal products to collect fish is an environmental hazard.

Packaging our food is another alternative towards securing our continent.  We should practice carrying packed food commodities from our residents while going for outings, picnics and other places where we may be required to buy packed food. We should plan for children by packing their food staffs using home utensils which are reusable. Parents should prefer buying packaging containers from Eco-Conscious Companies such as Yum Yum (Live Science Staff, 2006). The containers manufactured are pocket-friendly, earth friendly and easily decomposes once decomposed. Other packaging materials are produced using expensive methods and utilize a lot of energy from forests, natural resources as well as other naturally occurring energy generating resources.

Meals to Avoid

Individuals should practice consuming meals that do not incorporate meat diets.  Practicing agricultural farming that promotes meet production contribute to a high percentage of degradation of natural environmental conditions. Growing livestock for food production is expensive and consumes a lot of energy (Zhao, et al., 2013). Research studies reveal that about seven kilograms of pure grain are required to produce one kilogram of beef. Such kilograms of grains require water, energy and transportation cost to produce and supply. Thus producing livestock for food purposes it is a form of misusing energy that could be used in feeding people. Products obtained from meat products are usually toxic and produce a lot of carbon compounds that constitute greenhouse effects causing high-level greenhouse effects. Consumers should decrease consumption of beef products to ensure that effects of their production do not affect their way of life (Bach, et al., 2012).

Daily cows have a high potential of products that are hormone free. However poorly raised dairy cows are usually fed a lot of antibiotics; animal feeds as well as other environmental hazards chemicals. Lack of having better methods causes emission of massive greenhouse gasses.  The type of manure products generated from daily animals that are fed using chemical compounds contains toxic elements that combine with nitrogen components in soils that make soil acidic as well as causing air pollution during rainy seasons (Rousk, et al., 2013). Consumers should avoid milk products such as cheese due to the high-level concentration of carbon dioxide compound. Primary greenhouse effect emitted during the production of cheese, butter, and other dairy products are big drivers to climatic changes.  Eliminating some of the diets within human consumption plan can contribute to the high-level control of environmental effects.  Consumers should embrace recipes having fewer dairy products in their meals.

Restaurant Behaviors

Individuals who prefer attending bars and restaurants for refreshments should prefer environmental friendly requests such as water from preserved containers rather than bottled water. Tapped water should be given priority for conservation of energy utilized in the production of such bottles. Restaurant owners who make foods should practice an overall way of producing food materials prefer local food production (Singh, et al., 2015). Nuclear power and natural gas should be applied in producing and making food materials since them safe on energy utilized in the manufacturing of food. The various alternatives like green stocks and renewable energy such as biogas from organic compounds perform better in food production and consumption of energy.

Planting practices

Individuals should ensure while planting food materials various crops should be combined in a farming area. Farmers should combine all types of vegetation to allow proper circulation of nutrients. Legume plants should be interchanged with nonlegumes to ensure mutual benefit. Famers should combine both legume and none legume food material to eliminate the excessive emission of nutrients in air. Other crops that should be included in farming include orchard and tree based crops. Such crops promote positive change in climate through facilitating precipitation as well as being environmentally friendly by curbing strong wind (Macklin, 2015). Fruit plantations encourage environmental friendly areas through the provision of shadings as well as better areas for shelter while relaxing. Such practices give more potential towards sustaining favorable planet environment.

Conclusion

Farmers should prefer types of food that guarantee better perseverance during harsh environmental conditions. Preferred food crop should have high potentials of persisting during a strong spell of lack of water. Similarly, farmers should ensure proper utilization of other crops such as glass. Glass can be applied in growing crops to preserve water. Glass can be used alternatively for mulching to maintain moisture environment on crops. Glass vegetation can conserve excessive loss of water hence sustaining planet energy.  Organic farming practices should be embraced to minimize effects of global warming on our planet.  Appropriate choice of food materials should be identified to minimize creating endangered living conditions within the environment. Authorities and environmental organizations should be involved in practices that promote conservation and retaining of favorable environmental standards.

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