Friday, November 10, 2006
Hippie Steps -- Week Three

The focus of this week's Slate/Treehugger challenge is on food.

"Food gives us the energy we need to fuel our bodies, of course, but have you ever thought about how much fuel it takes to make our food? Of all the fossil fuel we burn through in the United States, a sizeable 17 percent is dedicated to the production of what we eat. The result is three-quarters of a ton of carbon dioxide emissions per person, and that doesn’t even include the fuel it takes to transport goods to market. Add in processing and packaging, and even organic foods—which rate relatively lower on the CO2 emissions charts—begin to make a mark.

This week’s installment of the Slate Green Challenge addresses the carbon dioxide emissions associated with your diet. Your decisions to buy organic or local foods and to consume a carnivorous or herbivorous diet all have CO2 consequences. We won’t ask you to make life-altering changes, but we will address how you can shed CO2 pounds via your menu choices. Because when it comes to your CO2 profile, it turns out, you are indeed what you eat."
-- Slate/Treehugger

Now Food is something that is near and dear to my heart since I work for a culinary company. I look for organic vegetables and fruit whenever possible (both financially and quality-wise), I shop the local farmer's market, I have reduced my meat-intake and I try to purchase fresh food over processed food at all times.

Still I could do more and I pledged to reduce my beef intake by a minimum of 50%, purchase food with even less packaging and try to buy more local food (food from within 100 miles of my home). I scored 687, which means I've promised to take the annual equivalent of 0.07 cars off the road. Sadly this just doesn't seem like enough to me BUT I know that all the changes I'm making over the entire 8-week challenge will add up to alot.

Here are some interesting facts though that Slate/Treehugger had to share about food:

• Cutting beef out of your diet saves approximately 1,000 pounds of CO2 emissions
per year.

• Bringing your own bags to the grocery store saves about 17 pounds of carbon-
dioxide emissions a year.

• Buying food and other products with minimal packaging saves about 230 pounds of
carbon dioxide a year.

• Becoming a vegetarian saves 3,000 pounds of CO2 a year.
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