Did you know that what you eat could greatly impact our world and planet Earth? You probably don’t realize that the vegetables you consume most likely were sprayed synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that made them grower bigger, but also caused pollution of waterways. Or that the burger you’re enjoying is actually linked to climate change, pollution and land degradation, thus resulting in the loss of biodiversity?
It’s important that we have a more varied diet not only to sustain our own health, but also ensure the health of our planet. We’re facing a nutritional crisis that’s impacting our world because of the lack of sustainability in producing healthy food. All foods should be organic, but the truth is that it isn’t. We should cut back on our meat consumption because farmland for cows is causing deforestation all across the world. Then there’s the problem of climate changed caused by cows and their toxic burps that are depleting the ozone layer. Many UN experts warn that we as humans need to change our ways and the way we eat or else we could be harming our chances for a bright future. We must protect biodiversity to protect ourselves.
According to Foodsource.org.uk, Agriculture has always been one of the biggest drivers of deforestation and is currently responsible for around 80% of deforestation in key tropical regions on Earth, including Africa, Latin America and Asia). The growing demand for food is only expected to increase, which will impact our forests and the animals that call it home.
The diversity of food has decreased in the past century. We’re eating fewer foods and used to have tons of different options in the early 1990s. Now, we’ve lost about 70% of the genetic diversity of food items mankind thrived on for centuries (according to CleanEatingMag.com). Only a few staples stayed, including high-yield ones like rice, wheat and maize. These starchy staples have only increased tons of diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and more (which are all common with a diet that is high in refined and processed foods).
It’s important that we restore biodiversity in our diets, food system and basically our world. Biodiversity is the total sum of animal and planet life, according to the FAO. This includes three levels, which are species diversity, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity. It’s essential to boost the planet’s resilience by providing more nutrients to be available for food, enhancing food security and bettering the productivity of our current food system. Some countries are actually trying to restore biodiversity by discovering “forgotten” food items that offer more of a variety or the prosperity of mankind and Earth.
You can make a difference, too, by joining an organization that’s committed to protecting the planet’s biodiversity. Another thing you can do is buy cover crops like barley, flax, legumes and the like since they provide quality calories and help replenish the soil with essential nutrients. You can also shop organically and opt to go vegetarian (if not forever, at least a few times a week).
If we all commit to a few lifestyle changes that are more sustainable, we can all do our part and save the world! We can improve our food system and preserve our planet’s ecosystem.