Most people are not aware of the impact that agriculture and food production have on the environment. Many people also don’t realize that they can help lessen that impact through their purchasing decisions at the grocery store. Let’s take a closer look at the impact your groceries have on the environment.
Around 50% of the earth’s habitable land is solely dedicated to agriculture. Agriculture uses about 70% of the world’s freshwater and emits a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. Until relatively recently, most of the earth was wilderness, including grasslands, forests and deserts. Over the last few hundred years, however, as people have turned to agriculture to grow the food necessary to support human life, wild habitats have been replaced by farmland.
Farmland used for livestock requires much more land than crops grown for human consumption. Pastures and farms that grow animal feed account for more than three quarters of all agricultural land, even though they produce less than 20% of the total calories consumed by people. But consumers can make a difference in reducing their environmental impact with their shopping choices. Eating less meat and using plant-based alternatives could help reduce the number of livestock required to feed people throughout the world. Choosing companies that use sustainable packaging over others that don’t, can make a difference. Walking or riding a bike to your grocery stores will keep car emissions out of the atmosphere. For more on this, continue reading below.