Food as an Environmental Issue

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In honor of Jamie Oliver’s food revolution, I’ve decided to take a closer look at the relationship between food and the environment. While writing a couple articles on natural groceries and organic delivery services, it came to my attention that the concept of food is not necessarily an inherent environmental issue in the minds of everyday people.

This threw me for a moment because, to me, food is so essentially an environmental issue that to not think of it that way is to ignore huge aspects and linkages within environmentalism and green living. Think of the vegetarian and vegan movements. Think of organics. Think of sustainable agriculture and waste reduction and prevention. The environment, and all its related issues, is like a giant spider web, and right there in the middle, where all the threads intersect, is food.

When people think of being green, of acting environmentally responsible, they think of recycling, of using reusable shopping bags and maybe even water bottles. They might go so far as to think of using public or alternative forms of transportation. When people think about food, they focus mostly on what they or their families enjoy, the price, and maybe even the nutritional content. But there is so much more to food than that.

Food is an environmental issue for a number of very basic reasons: the waste created by production and consumption, energy use, the location and source of the product, the effect of agriculture on local ecosystems, and even toxic or pesticide content. When you break it down, food is undeniably an environmental issue. It’s time people started thinking of it as such.

For more on the topic of food as an environmental issue, continue reading on the subject at The Chic Ecologist. For more great articles on green and environmental living, check out Rachel’s work at www.thechicecologist.com.

Photograph cc – Flickr user Muffet.

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