We live in an age where more and more we need to start looking after t he planet that we live on, and for many, that involves choosing a healthier way of eating. Cutting back on the amount of meat consumed, focusing on whole foods, and avoiding as much sugar as possible are all brilliant ways of being friendlier both to the environment and to our own bodies. And while many foods are undoubtedly healthy and often touted as environmentally friendly, there are often hidden impacts and costs on the earth that we might not even be aware of when making a purchase.
As we continued to try and fix the many eco-related problems that we have, it’s important to be aware of as many different factors as possible, even if we thought we were doing the right thing to start with.
Rice has become one of the most popular staples in the world, and there are countless dishes that are based in rice. In many Asian countries, like Japan and China, rice is by far the leading staple for the vast majority of the population, and it’s almost impossible to imagine that entire region without rice available at all times. But rice is very much only grown in certain countries in the world, and it’s a crop that absolutely requires dependable, annual rainfall, which is why Japan is one of the leading rice producers in the world. That also means that rice isn’t grown in most western countries, and all rice on the store shelves needs to be imported. This is a big problem, as refrigerants, combined with the fossil fuels needed for international haulage, has a serious cost environmentally. It might be difficult to give up rice, but it might be necessary in the future.
Soy is a great alternative to most meats, as it’s one of the only staples in the world that has all the amino acids that the human body is not able to synthesize, and makes for a wide range of snacks that can be enjoyed while checking out the top sports sites around. Soy is grown in South America, mostly in Brazil, where much of the rainforest has been replaced by soy fields. And while the bulk of the world’s soy goes to animal feed, much of it is also used in various, every day food items, like soy sauce. Transporting soy, like rice, is taxing on the environment, although unlike rice, soy is much easier to grow and can therefore be found locally.
Coconuts are found on most coastlines around the world, but most of the coconut products we buy come from south-east Asia and India, which are the two largest producing regions. Coconut milk, in particular, requires a large amount of coconuts to produce, and the costs of bringing it over from other regions is expensive. Coconut milk and cream are commonly suggested as dairy alternatives, but it’s important to consider just how many resources are required to bring over even just a single can of a coconut product, unless of course they are sourced locally.