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Planetpro: Choosing more sustainable ingredients

Friday, October 2, 2020

Certain types of food place more strain on the environment due to their water or land requirements, carbon footprint, agricultural chemicals, biodiversity concerns, or other environmental pressures. 

While you probably don’t want to remove all of these foods from your menu, it is good to understand their impacts and choose ingredients thoughtfully so you can avoid wasting limited resources.

FRUITS & VEGETABLES

FISH

MEAT & POULTRY

Fruits and vegetables can vary widely in terms of environmental impact, so consider the tradeoffs when choosing ingredients. Produce grown far away also requires more transportation fuel and refrigeration to stay fresh during shipping, while locally grown produce can go from farm to fork with a lower environmental footprint, if produced by responsible suppliers.

Certain organizations, such as The Seafood Watch, publish lists to help businesses and consumers choose fish and seafood options with the least impact on marine life and the environment. Recommendations vary by location.

The carbon footprint of animal protein can vary widely, but beef and lamb contribute the most greenhouse gases. That's mainly because of methane production from cows and land conversion for grazing and animal feed.