A reader has passed on this Sydney Morning Herald article about a new book on vegetarianism and the good environmental reasons that go with this lifestyle choice.
Angela Crocombe’s book Ethical Eating aims to teach us ‘how to make food choices that won’t cost the earth’.
Angela believes this is the first book to take a comprehensive look at ethical eating from an Australian point of view. It investigates where and how our food is produced, packaged and sold, attempts to untangle the complex debates about farming methods, food miles and product certification, and carries a list of Australian suppliers of organic produce.
After seven months of research there are many footnotes referring to scientific studies, academic and government reports, meat industry fact sheets, plus Angela’s interviews with industry representatives and newspaper articles to support a matter-of-fact approach that doesn’t ‘preach to the reader’.
The book has a simple message: individuals can have a local and global impact by scrutinising what is on their plates… a New Scientist study finds that becoming a vegan would save more greenhouse gas emissions a year than switching to a hybrid car.
“It’s all about increasing your awareness, making people think a little more about what you put in your mouth and the journey it has been on to get there, rather than mindlessly stuffing our faces with whatever we find,” says Angela.
A study of food miles by the Melbourne environmental organisation CERES found a typical weekly basket of fruit and vegetables travelled 8730 kilometres from the point of production to consumption. The journey taken by the bananas, tomatoes and other produce generated greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to driving 1173 cars for a year!
Angela finds that although organic produce is costly, this cost is offset by savings from spending less on meat and processed food.
ARE we changing our lifestyle habits?