The environmental impact of food includes impacts to water. This is driven in part because agriculture uses a lot of water.
The Environmental Impact of Food Includes Water
The environmental impact of growing food and raising animals extends to the air, land and, yes, water. The food choices you make have consequences, some more damaging than others. Real Simple Magazine describes some of the basic ways that our food impacts our environment and shows you that it is possible to reduce your impact.
Agriculture is a significant driver of greenhouse gas emissions through fertilizer use, food transport, food packaging or food waste. Greenhouse gas emissions lead to coral bleaching and changing weather patterns that impact how and where we can grow food.
You can limit your environmental impact and lower your contribution to air pollution by changing your food habits. Make sustainable choices, like seeking out sustainable seafood recommendations, shopping at farmers’ markets and not wasting food. These practices can help limit your greenhouse gas load into the atmosphere.
Industrial agricultural practices deplete soil health and put pollinator populations at risk. Farming becomes increasingly more difficult and chemically intensive when soil health fails and pollinators aren’t able to do their jobs.
You can limit your environmental impact and lower your contribution to land pollution supporting farrmers who practice regenerative agriculture, especially those who raise animals for meat and dairy. In addition, limiting the use of pesticides in your garden and buying organic produce whenever possible will help protect colonies of vital insects.
Agriculture is a major water user around the planet. It is also a major polluter of our water ways. Over application of fertilizers that run off into water ways cause algal blooms. Plastic packaging is wreaking havoc on the environment, especially our water ways. In addition, farming is often a dominant water user in any given watershed, even in water-stressed watersheds. It takes a lot of water to make our food, especially beef.
You can limit your environmental impact and lower your contribution to water pollution by minimizing how much plastic you bring into your life and recycling everything possible. Shopping at farmers’ markets and supporting farmers who practice regenerative agriculture can help prevent fertilizer runoff because the practices observed in organic and regenerative farming are generally done in a manner that enhances the land. Finally, eating less beef, even giving it up for just one day a week, can reduce your water use by a significant amount.