Eating Green by Ruth Robinson

Will you help reduce carbon emissions by eating?  (Say what?!)

If you are like me, you get hungry, eat, probably cook your own meals, then repeat this several times a day, not counting snacks and treats.  Since we need food for life and energy, we also need a healthy planet to produce our food.  Check out these ideas that really will make a difference:

Consider what you don’t eat – and specifically, what you waste.  You could start by using smaller plates for your meals and less food.  You could also think ahead and see if you can ‘cook once, eat twice’ and use those leftovers creatively.

Consider no-meat Mondays.  More days a week without meat, all the better.   How about learning to cook or bake something this week that is from a vegan cookbook?

Do you know the definitions for:

‘Use By’; ‘Best By’; ‘Sell By’ on food packaging?  If not, you may be wasting perfectly good food. 

Here’s a new word for you:  “silvopasture”. 

Silvopasture is an ancient practice that integrates trees and pasture into a single system for raising livestock. Research suggests silvopasture far outpaces any grassland technique for counteracting the methane emissions of livestock and sequestering carbon under-hoof. Pastures strewn or crisscrossed with trees sequester five to ten times as much carbon as those of the same size that are treeless, storing it in both biomass and soil.

Carbon aside, the advantages of silvopasture are considerable, with financial benefits for farmers and ranchers. Livestock, trees, and any additional forestry products, such as nuts, fruit, and mushrooms, generate income on different time horizons. The health and productivity of both animals and the land improve. Because silvopasture systems are diversely productive and more resilient, farmers are better insulated from risk.

Silvopasture often runs counter to farming norms and can be costly and slow to implement. Peer-to-peer education has proven effective for spreading it. As the impacts of global warming progress, appeal will likely grow, because silvopasture can help farmers and their livestock adapt to erratic weather and increased drought. That is the climatic win-win of this solution: Silvopasture averts and sequesters emissions, while protecting against changes that are now inevitable.

Come back next week for more carbon-reducing ideas!