Go Green Get Lean
Are you sick of low fat, low calorie, low sodium, low cholesterol diets? Now there's yet another diet low in something: carbon footprint.
Published by Rodale, Kate Geagan's book of the above title establishes a convincing connection between being earth friendly and being girth friendly.
Trained as a registered dietitian, she reports that eating the average American diet creates 2.8 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, surpassing the 2.2 tons by people who drive cars.
She also documents that the beef cattle industry produces 18 percent of global warming emissions worldwide. She suggests that, if for one day a week, American consumers go vegetarian, they save roughly 890 calories and 9 pounds of carbon. 2 weeks of going vegetarian and a consumer reduces carbon footprint by 122 pounds and saves 12,460 calories, this translates to being 3 and a half pounds lighter on the bathroom scale.
She reports that the typical American consumes 150 pounds of sugar a year, and manufacturing this amount produces 855 pounds of carbon. If consumers reduce consumption of sodas and highly-processed sugary foods by choosing whole and fresh foods instead, 855 pounds of carbon can be significantly reduced while cutting 7,500 calories a month, the equivalent of about two pounds of weight.
It can be tricky for readers to figure out exactly where they stand in terms of the carbon footprint of what they eat because statistical numbers presented in averages leave much room for debate and skepticism, but the important point Geagan makes is that we can make smarter choices that benefit our physical health and our environment every time we make a food purchase and take a bite.