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Like Driving a Hummer

Filed Under: Environment at 1:38 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
HummerMeals in Washington aren’t what they used to be. An initiative to create a more environmentally friendly and health-conscious House has transformed the once fat-filled, waste-producing building into eco-central.  Food, when possible, is brought in from no more than 150 miles away and prepared on-site, from scratch. The menu now offers, in addition to the original fare, sushi, tofu, cous cous, veggie burgers, stir-fry and made-to-order salads. The change has produced some anticipated grumbles, a few raised eyebrows at the price hikes and rumors of less than eco motivations, but regardless, it’s a good move, one you may want to consider.

Meat consumption in the United States, and throughout the world, has risen dramatically in the past several years, much to the horror of the environment.  Americans’ lust for animal protein has spawned a sea of meat factories, which suck up energy, pollute the water, produce greenhouse gases and devour (courtesy of the livestock) the vast majority of the world’s corn and soy. To keep these factories going, rainforests are being destroyed at a rate of 1,250 square miles every five months. The destruction we are generating with our carnivorous obsession is equivalent to if not worse than the pollution we create each time we needlessly drive a Hummer (which is pretty much anytime one is turned on). What’s the solution?

Eat less meat; be more eco. In other words, go the way of the House. Explore your plant-based options, especially those that are home-grown or grown close to home. Think tofu, soy, vegetable, mineral and moderate amounts of animal. You can still eat meat but you don’t have to have it at every meal, and you certainly don’t need the eight ounces the average American sucks down daily. Become aware of the conditions in which your food is produced; find environmentally and animal friendly operations. They exist. They are better, and they help you. Your health is directly linked to the planet’s, so the longer we allow it to crumble, the more quickly yours will, too. Eat a salad once in a while. It won’t kill you; in fact, just the opposite will happen.

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