What you eat affects the sea. Choosing foods that are sustainable, local, organic, and lower on the food chain can help protect the ocean and its creatures.
People are eating more seafood than ever, and the ocean and its fish are being pushed to the limit. According to the United Nations, approximately two-thirds of ocean species are overfished, and many types of ocean fish farming are highly damaging to coastal environments. The situation is so serious that a study in the journal Science recently projected that without a change in course the populations of all wild fish species currently caught will collapse before the year 2050. Some types of fishing also catch up to seven times more unwanted fish than targeted species which ends up dead and thrown overboard. Some fish species also have unsafe levels of toxins that are harmful to humans.
The situation can get better! Each of us can help solve this crisis by becoming "ocean friendly" when making our seafood choices. By limiting fish consumption to a few special meals a month and choosing species that are abundant and fished or farmed with minimal harm to the surrounding environment, we can eat well and do good at the same time!
Take a look around your grocery store and see where your food comes from. Food that comes from far away has a much larger carbon footprint than food produced locally because it takes lots of energy and fuel to get it to your supermarket. Choose local alternatives and check out nearby farmer's markets for fresh, carbon-light food. Food from farmer's markets is also less packaged and processed which means that it used up less energy and makes less waste.
- Visit a farmer's market and pick local foods when you visit the grocery store
Harmful pesticides and other chemicals used to grow non-organic food can get into our drinking water and ocean.
- Make organic choices when food shopping
Eat Lower on the Food Chain
Did you know that 18% of greenhouse gas emissions come from meat? That's more than all forms of transportation contribute together. Meat, especially red meat, takes much more energy to produce than plant products and the methane released by cows is a powerful greenhouse gas. You can significantly decrease your carbon footprint by becoming a vegetarian or at least eating less meat.
- Start by replacing one meal a week with a meatless one. How many days can you make meatless? Weekdays? All of them? Or try just cutting out red meat.