“Let Food Be Thy Medicine!”- Hippocrates, aka Father of Medicine
I wonder if Hippocrates knew when coining this phrase, if we all took it to heart, that food wouldn’t just be our own medicine, but the medicine of our environment as well.
These days we are inundated with an array of information about choices for healthier living. There is a crazy amount of information about the latest herbal craze, and people, running in droves, flock to them. Whether the latest herbal trend has been raised sustainably or is grown locally tends to come to mind secondarily, if at all. Did you know you have the power to create wholesome, vitamin-rich food that has less of a global impact and you don’t need to own a farm or a garden to create it?
How? Healthy food choices aren’t just good for you, they are good for our environment.
While it would be amazing for all of us to grow our own food a great deal of us just can’t. So how do you create better food for yourself and your community? With your consumer vote.
It is an interesting thought that if we took better care of ourselves, choosing whole plant food diets grown organically, sustainably, and shipped locally, we could also take care of our environment. A study published in January last year shows that you can do just that (Rose, et al. 2019). A team of scientists at the University of Michigan and funded by The Wellcome Trust created a study to see what the carbon footprint of individual dietary choices looked like. It turns out choosing to eat more plant-based foods, either as a vegetarian or choosing lean meats over red has a significantly lower carbon footprint than a diet high in processed foods and red meat. This study shows when we choose healthier diets we are also choosing a healthier environment and our impact is noticeable. If those foods were grown sustainably using methods that enrich the soil, by farmers and distributors who are dedicated to sustainable methods as well, how much more of an impact would we have on our environment just with our consumer vote? This recent study says the impact would be quite a lot.
Find out how you are doing by following the links below. Our diets and our consumer choices directly affect our environment. You have the ability to create a better world by choosing where your consumer dollars go. Making healthy choices helps our planet and our future generations.
The words of Hippocrates have never been more true!
- Global Footprint Network: www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/gfn/page/calculators/
- The Nature Conservancy: www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator
The web links above were last retrieved from The University of Michigan’s website on 07/16/2019 http://css.umich.edu/factsheets/carbon-footprint-factsheet
Rose, .D., Heller, M.C., Willits-Smith, A.M., & Meyer, R.J. (2019). Carbon footprint of self-selected US diets: nutritional, demographic, and behavioral correlates. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 109(3).