Chicken or Beef? Or Vegetarian? Or Vegan?
If you're going to eat meat - are some options better than others? Where can you look for local, organic food? Is local always the right answer? Is is greener to be vegan than vegetarian? What other answers are you looking for from our green team about what's on your plate? Check back soon for our responses - but in the mean time post your perspective - and your best recipes!There's been lots of debate on our blog about how best to eat green and healthy. We recently shared some information on sustainable seafood - but we thought it was time to discuss eating meat - are some options better than others, if you do decide to eat meat? Where can you look for local, organic food? Is local always the right answer? Is is greener to be vegan than vegetarian? How have you convinced people to eat less meat? What other answers are you looking for from our green team about what's on your plate? Here's the lowdown from our Green Team:
Alright, so the “green order” goes (least green to most green):
beef, chicken, vegetarian, vegan.
What’s The Beef?
According to a
Don’t Call Me Chicken
Better than beef but still not great. Mass poultry production as a whole, poses serious health and environmental hazards: water pollution from manure run-off, arsenic, ammonia and other chemicals found in the feed and of course, the amount of energy used to transport and process this billion dollar industry make it hard to justify that box of KFC. And while these giant birdy makers, known as CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations – yum) must follow federal environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, they are apparently really good at getting around the rules and regulations.
Then there’s the social problem: "These companies seek rural areas where unemployment, or underemployment, is high and people are desperate for ways to stay on the farm," says Aloma Dew, a Sierra Club organizer in
While beef seems to have no upside, there is, however, free range, organic chicken, which is better for you and not as big a pollutant. But it’s more expensive and hard to find if you eat out. Especially if you don’t live in
Vegetarian and Vegan – Better and Best
Yes, it’s true, no meat means less methane and less methane means MUCH less CO2 and that’s what we’re aiming for here. The definitions for vegetarian vary from “no animal flesh” to variations of that include fish, eggs, dairy and honey. To be considered vegan, you can’t eat anything that comes from an animal. And some won’t WEAR anything that comes from an animal. Are vegan shoes cute?
So the conclusion seems simple, if not easy: one of the most effective way that you, as an individual, can do your part to reduce global warming is to reduce or eliminate your consumption of animal products. Less animal production means less methane gas and that means less of one the greenhouse gases responsible for almost half of the global warming impacting the planet today.
Try to reach for the organic, free-range and/or grass-fed food – and, watch out for those expanded polystyrene take-out boxes.
Have a carrot stick.