These days, veganism is a hot topic. More and more people are making the switch to eating a plant-based diet, be it for ethical reasons, dietary reasons, or environmental reasons. And it seems reasonable when we look at the amount of food that is wasted in our country. According to statistics, it can take up to 20 pounds of corn to produce 1 pound of beef, and about 70 percent of U.S. grain is fed exclusively to livestock. These numbers can sound staggering when considering the number of people who go hungry every day. Many people have proposed that a shift towards a vegan diet would free up more grain for human consumption, and maybe that is correct, but there are other factors to consider.
Studies have indicated that at the top of the list for food wastage in America is fruits and vegetables. The average American has a tendency to buy more fruits and veggies than they actually end up eating. It makes sense; we all know that fruits and vegetables are the healthiest food, so we buy them with good intentions. They just don’t always get eaten before they go bad. That can be a double whammy for the environment pairing this waste with all the methane produced by produce decomposing in landfills. This has caused some people to conclude that being vegan or vegetarian is actually worse for the environment as far as food wastage is concerned. So how can veganism help with the food waste issue?
It has been proposed that by eating a plant-based diet we can greatly reduce our food waste problem. Of course, this was proposed by vegans, but maybe they have something valid to say. It has been shown to be common for vegans to have a much higher awareness of their personal environmental impact. The mass majority of vegans do not buy more than they can use, and they do so because they care about the amount of food that is wasted in America and everywhere else. Vegans don’t usually buy fruits and vegetables with only the best intentions of eating them, they buy them with a purpose in mind. They buy produce and they eat it. They recycle scraps to make vegetable stock. They even sometimes use veggie scraps to regrow more vegetables. It is said that when you become vegan, you begin to take notice of what is really happening in this world in regard to the health of our planet and our own bodies.
So if there was a shift towards veganism, wouldn’t more people be aware of the food they are wasting? It seems like a logical conclusion to draw. If less grain was being used to feed livestock, that grain could be repurposed for people. If the average American didn’t buy produce to later throw away, there would be less produce in the landfills. If there was a shift towards veganism we could reduce waste by being mindful, and we could reduce methane in the atmosphere at the same time. That’s a win, win in my book.
Craig is the editor at Green & Growing. He enjoy the outdoors, especially when he can go on a fun hike or adventure. He likes to focus on the perks green living. He feels it is so important to take care of our earth and hope to spread more awareness as he edits and writes.