There is a lot of talk about preserving both renewable and not renewable resources. As it stands, the humanity (mostly western Europe and North America) consumes more than the world can provide if everyone had equal access to all resources. In fact at the rate of consumption of present day, we need 2.4 worlds. This means some people are consuming too much of all the resources and others merely not enough.
There are several solutions to solve at least partially, some of the problems plaguing depleting resources.
Western Europeans and North Americans eat too much meat. Consider that four hectares produce enough soybeans to feed 60 people, but enough wheat to feed 24, enough corn for 10, and beef enough for two people.
Approximately 70 per cent of Amazon forests have been cut down to raise cattle, and meat production is the least efficient way of using farmland. It takes nine kilograms of corn to produce one kilogram of corn-fed beef. Cattle are supposed to feed on grass, but corn-fed beef is richer in taste and softer in texture.
Approximately 70 per cent global fresh water is used for dairy and meat production and believe it or not, 150 litres of water are used to produce one 120 grams hamburger patty.
Billions of tons of animal waste are generated by chickens, cattle, swine, and lamb.
In an attempt to help reduce precious resources, reduce meat consumption, and ideally eliminate it altogether, but only if you recalibrate your diet sufficiently to acquire enough proteins from soybeans, and nuts.
Remember if you cut your meat consumption from 90 kilograms per year to 53, the meat-associated carbon dioxide emissions would drop by 42 per cent. 80 million tons of methane is produced annually from ruminant livestock and 14 per cent from transportation. These days meant-animals are slaughtered and processed in remote rural areas and trucked or shipped all over the world.
Frozen food in another contributor to greenhouse gases to the tune of 23 per cent of all food associated emissions.
Eating seasonal and fresh is a sensible contributor to a sustainable world.
Admittedly, in cool climate regions, it is challenging to eat fresh produce throughout the year, but pickling, and other preservation techniques can help reduce fresh-fruit and fresh-vegetable cravings at bay.
It is a well-known fact that North Americans in general eat to much fat, mostly in the form of French fried potatoes, salt, meat, and butter. Fat satiates and keep people feel full longer than vegetables, and starches, Fast food chains sell a lot of fat, flour, sugar, and salt in a variety of forms, i.e. French fires, flour in buns, sugar in soft drinks, and salt in meat. But they are not the culprits; convenience foods of all types are full of salt, sugar and some fat. The body, at least in cool climate regions needs more or less 1 ½ to 2 ½ grams of salt per day, but most people in the western hemisphere eat twice that amount in convenience foods alone. If you ever watch restaurant patrons you will observe that many put salt and pepper on their food even tasting it. Some restaurants have now eliminated salt and peppershakers and serve same upon request only. Humans need approximately 10 grams (two teaspoons) of sugar but most North Americans consume 100 grams mostly in the form of soft drinks that contain 12 per cent sugar, i.e. a can of 300-millilitre soft drink has 36 grams of sugar, almost four times as much as necessary.
Vegetable and fruit production suffices to feed the world adequately, but in rich countries people eat of 50 per cent of the recommended fruit and 60 per cent of vegetables daily. Vegetarian or mainly vegetarian diet will help you live a healthier and longer life.
However, it is important to eat meals at established times and never to treat food as fuel by consuming it on-the-run, in your car, or in front of your computer, or at your desk.
Eat leisurely, enjoy your food, and in company, while consuming a variety of foods at every meal.
There is a lot to be said about the Mediterranean diet. Remember the population around that body of water ate and still eats what nature provides – cereal, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, olive oil, cheese, yoghurt, fish, poultry, eggs and meat. The last fur food groups where and still are expensive and naturally force people to eat less of them. Also, people from that region walk much more than in industrialized countries, mainly out of necessity.
It is only in the last three decades that scientists started to analyse the impact of diet on humans after observing a rage of diseases plaguing them.
In poor countries, obesity, overweight, and cardiovascular diseases are much less prevalent than in rich countries.
Consumers must not fall for all the fast- and convenience food advertising. If you watch TV most of the food advertising is on convenience- and fast food, seldom on fresh produce or fruits. Also, prominent, is antacid advertising to rectify problems associated with poor diet.
A mainly vegetarian diet will not only help each individual, but also the environment. However, food must never be treated as “human fuel”, but must be consumed with respect, reverence and in an appropriate setting.