Wednesday, December 16, 2015

EATING HEALTHY COULD BE KILLING THE PLANET ONE FART AT A TIME

The eggplant is sliced and sprinkled lightly with a little sea salt. The mince lamb has been browned, I have sprinkled in the nutmeg, parley, herbs and a dash of cinnamon.  The plan was Moussaka, Spanakopita and a Greek salad for supper tonight.

The preparation is done, however a study from Carnegie Mellon University has me concerned about the environmental footprint of my planned supper. Many of the greener (okay purple) ingredients are environmental bad guys.  The eggplant, cucumbers and lettuce are high impact foods in terms of gas emissions, water usage and the cost of energy to grow and transport.

I should have known, if you like it, there’s a good chance it’s bad for you. Just recently there was a report from the World Health Organization that found the most popular processed red meats can increase the risk of colon, stomach and other cancers.

Every week there seems to be a report that vilifies or praises some of my favourite foods. For example, Eggs are both part of  healthy diet and have been blamed for clogging arteries. Red Wine – a personal favourite – is touted as being full of antioxidants and nay help prevent cancer, diabetes and depression.  However, other studies say stay away it is dangerous and can cause liver cirrhosis and weight gain. The same paradox exists for coffee and beer. In vogue today, but a killer tomorrow.

Who ever thought the undervalued and respected eggplant would become the poster vegetable for ruining our environment. What does this mean for environmental vegetarianism and the rallying cry to go vegetarian and vegan to save the environment? The diet dictocrats must be in denial.

Turns out those herbivores are every bit as bad as the carnivores, perhaps even worse if you believe the findings of the Carnegie Mellon report that finds that eating lettuce is – now get this – three times worse in terms of green house emissions than eating bacon or steak!

“Eggplant, celery and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken.” Says the author, Dr. Paul Fischbeck. His team  examined how growing, processing and transporting food, food sales and service, and household storage and use take a toll on resources in the form of energy use, water use and GHG emissions.

It is not as if I do not have enough anxiety, but now eating healthy is contributing to the greenhouse gas emission challenges. For the record, I did not read the entire study but I may send Dr. Fishbeck a quick note to learn more about what his study had to say about beans and pea soup.

My life may never be the same!

Poor Pam Anderson.



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