Wait, maybe it's easier than we think:
It takes 17 percent of the fossil fuel consumed in the United States to produce the food we eat. The result is three-quarters of a ton of carbon dioxide emissions per person, according to researchers at the University of Chicago. And that doesn't account for the fuel it takes to get the products to market. Food travels an average 1,500 miles before it's bought and eaten. Even carbon-friendly organic food comes with an emissions price tag—the CO2 given off by processing, packaging, and transportation. As organic food becomes mass-produced, there's increasing debate about whether the movement is losing its soul and its ethic of sustainability. Whatever the upside of big organic, there's no question that eating locally grown foods and shopping at your farmers' market help reduce CO2 emissions by cutting down on transport.The Slate article linked at the top has several additional suggestions on how to go green.
Whether you're a carnivore or herbivore also has CO2 consequences. We don't blame you for enjoying the occasional filet mignon. But the average meat eater causes a ton and a half more carbon dioxide emissions for food production than the average vegetarian. Like it or not, your diet can have just as much effect on your carbon emissions as your choice of car. It's like the difference between a Camry, say, and a Prius.
Changes in agricultural practices could reduce U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions by one-fifth, according to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. But until farmers, lobbyists, and Congress get their act together, here are a few things you can do to eat a little greener:
• Buy locally grown food—at the farmers market and in the grocery store. Read labels, especially on produce, to find out where your food is coming from. If you don't see much that's local and you're feeling bold, ask your grocer to stock more produce from the region. (Click here to find a farmers' market near you.)
Which is a good way of letting you know that this Sunday is opening day of the Oakland Mills Farmers' Market, the only one in Columbia that takes place on a weekend. Whether you're looking for good food, a way to reduce your environmental impact or something fun to do on a Sunday morning, the Farmers' Market is the way to go.