How learning about factory farming opened my eyes to the untold truths about our food.
When I was 19 I watched the documentary, Food Inc. It prompted me to question why I ate meat - it was not something I have ever questioned before. I realised that it was usually out of habit as it wasn’t necessarily adding a lot of pleasure to my life, and the type of meat I ate was certainly not making a nourishing impact. When watching the documentary and seeing footage of factory farms and the toxic practises used to supply meat, it became evident that factory farming and animal agriculture was not something I wanted to support.
The thought of eliminating meat from my diet in order to reduce my carbon footprint began to sound more and more appealing. I learned that adopting a meat-free diet was the best thing I could do to fight climate change. Next, I wanted to pursue the knowledge of nutrition in the food we eat, and the sustainable (or unsustainable) practices behind them.
I learned that adopting a meat-free diet was the best thing I could do to fight climate change.
At times I was overwhelmed by the information overload from all corners of the internet. The fad diet trends swivelled between raw and fruit-based to paleo, keto and the potato diet - just to name a few. Veganism would be the safest bet only to learn about the destructive effects of palm oil and processed foods. Instagram posts circulated comparing the amount of water used to produce dairy vs non-dairy milk. And the infamous tug of war between the ethics of processed/imported plant-based foods versus local and organic animal products. It was hard to feel good about my food choices. I needed to figure out what worked best for me within the intersection of health and sustainability.
I believe that different diets suit different people, and there is no blanket rule for how we should all eat. But that mindful consumerism in everything we do is the way forward. Before eating, and/or purchasing items, we could take a few minutes to consider the impacts of our choices – will the unhealthier, non-vegan option do any favours for our body or the planet? Often the answer is no. Choosing to not succumb to the habitual nature of past food choices is a pivotal step towards sustainable living.
...different diets suit different people...but mindful consumerism in everything we do is the way forward.
Often, in the simplest ways we can create a more climate-friendly diet that benefits our planet and our bodies. Some of them could be choosing to eat whole foods that nourish us, trying to grow some of our own herbs and vegetables and reducing or completely eliminating the intake of processed foods and animal products.
My goal is to continue to learn more about nutrition and the environmental impact of our food choices. I hope to share with you the joys and challenges as I encounter new information and slowly build a more conscientious life for myself. I believe the best way forward is not just another fad diet, but small changes in lifestyle and mindset. Not just for the benefit of our own health, but also for the health of our ecosystems.
Sending you love and warmth,