Organics, vegans, the environment, and lots of other stuff.

This will probably be interesting to a fairly wide readership, but perhaps not everyone would be able to implement something similar.  In talking in the car drives yesterday, the whole idea of NOT buying organic came up in the car.  Anna was kind enough to pass along this article that gives quite a few specifics about what products you should not fork over extra cash on for that special ‘o’ sticker.  Basically it focuses on individual health vs. cost.

I knew it wasn’t the whole story – in particular, I remembered reading about seafood and fish that were farm-raised in a way that had less environmental impact.  So I set out to find it.  I didn’t succeed in getting an overall list of what should be purchased to less negatively impact the enviroment, but I did find this.  I also managed to locate a number of articles about why organic produce bad or harmful to the environment.  Mostly this has to do with shipping and CO2 expenditures to move product across the globe, but this can be easily avoided by buying local if you’re careful.

There is also the whole vegetarian policy of less impact being caused by eating items lower on the food chain.  Usually, it costs less resource-wise to sustain yourself on rice and millet than on the comparative amount of cow that eats rice and millet.   Still, this lifestyle can be pretty difficult from a personal health standpoint.  In addition, not eating meat doesn’t necessarily mean you have less environmental impact.  Eating fruits and veggies that have been farmed in a typically industrial way, or even that are grown organically in Malasia and then sent here for your consumption, is probably more environmentally harmful than that free-range chicken.  Of course, strawberries locally grown using sustainable methods probably have less impact than both (mmm!  strawberries).

Most interesting was this study, which covers a range of information I found elsewhere, but is by far the most comprehensive and also gives some tips for greener eating.  Enjoy!


  1. Tracy said,

    February 13, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I’m glad you’re looking to help the environment. I wish more people would. I just wanted to point out that eating a vegetarian diet is really easy — even from a health standpoint. Research it, try it for 30 days, and see for yourself. It’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made! (I’m vegan now.)

  2. Alex said,

    February 13, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    My favorite part of the report in the last link is how they said the industrial complex wasn’t inevitable; it grew out of ‘past choices, social forces, and special interests’. Of course it did; what hasn’t? Then it suggests the sustainable method could be achieved/spread by raising public awareness and providing market initiatives. I look forward to 100 years after the green revolution when someone says that it wasn’t inevitable; it grew out of past choices, social forces, and special interests.

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