What’s on the Menu? Tips

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How is organic meat any better for the environment?

Choose Organic Meat

Standards vary from country to country, but organic meat generally means that the animals have been raised free-range and have not ingested pesticide-laden food. Growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics are prohibited. (Vaccines are used to protect the animals, without the need to resort to antibiotics). If the animal hasn't eaten it, the human consumer won't be forced to eat it either.

Do I have to be a vegetarian to be a friend of the earth?

Hold The Meat

Strict vegetarianism may not suit everyone, but there are ecological reasons for reducing your meat consumption. In some regions of the world, such as Central America, forests and arable land have been converted into grazing land in order to produce beef, mostly for export. In short, millions of people lack grain while wealthier nations indulge in grain-fed beef. Moreover, untreated animal waste, predominantly from hog farming, leaches from fields into waterways as run-off. It is estimated that if the average American household sliced its consumption of red meat and poultry in half, water pollution would be reduced by 24%.

Is there really a big difference between organically and conventionally grown produce?

Opt For Organic

Buy organic food whenever possible and help preserve the farming community, and your health! Organic farmers use mulching instead of chemical weed control and composting instead of chemical fertilizers. This helps reduce the toxic burden on soil and water. Organic farming also tends to be more labor than machine-intensive, so it's less dependent on fossil fuels than most conventional farming. According to the Care2 environmental network, organic farms use 70% less energy than industrial farms.

When I'm traveling, I won't necessarily know where to find eco-friendly shops. How can I make good choices?

Hit The Markets

Make a habit of buying locally grown food at markets. Not only does this deliver a more picturesque, authentic experience than shopping in generic grocery stores, but it also cuts down on food miles. According to Food Share Toronto, half a kilogram of local lamb generates seven grams of CO2 in transportation, while the same amount imported from New Zealand spews out eight kilos of carbon. Buying from local farmers helps cut down on fuel emissions.

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