What we eat, where it comes from, and how its produced has an enormous impact on the environment and on human health. Our food system is dominated by industrial agriculture comprised of monoculture fields and concentrated animal factories. The industry makes intensive use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers that contaminate and pollute our air, soil and water.
These pollutants contribute to climate change, the loss of pollinators and biodiversity, the disruption of natural ecosystem services, and harmful effects on human health. The system is often responsible for inhumane conditions for both workers and animals. Industrial agriculture also feeds a processing system that fills markets with the over-processed foods that are contributing to a variety of critical health conditions, from diabetes to heart disease.
You Can Make a Difference
Did you know you can help protect our natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change by reducing the amount of meat you eat?
Cows and other ruminant animals (like goats and sheep) emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as they digest grasses and plants. This process is called “enteric fermentation,” and it’s the origin of cows’ burps. Methane is also emitted from manure, and nitrous oxide, another powerful greenhouse gas, is emitted from ruminant wastes on pastures and chemical fertilizers used on crops produced for cattle feed. More indirectly but also importantly, rising beef production requires increasing quantities of land. New pastureland is often created by cutting down trees, which releases carbon dioxide stored in forests.
Do you like fresh, delicious produce?
You can provide your family with tasty, nutritious food and support local farmers and your community by participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and/or by buying at a local farmer’s market. When you buy locally, you reduce the distance your food must travel to reach your table, and thus, reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When you support local farms, you can support sustainable practices that protect both environmental and human health. Check out the Rockland Farm Alliance and how they are working to conserve farmland and support sustainable farming projects.
Learn more ways to have a healthy foodprint and support food system change: