Despite growing publicity, a significant number of people are still unaware of the connection between food and climate change. They don’t realize that the meat on their plate was probably raised in an environmentally damaging CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation), with little to no regard for the animal’s welfare. They don’t think about the immense amount of greenhouse gas emmiting fossil fuels that are burned to produce, process, package, and ship their food to them (take a look at the label on your produce- there’s a good chance it doesn’t say USA on it).
This is why I recommend Anna Lappe’s book, Diet for a Hot Planet. The connection between food and environmental sustainability is an in-depth and complex subject, but Lappe makes it easy to understand. The author uses plenty of evidence, all documented, to support her claims, and information is laid out in a logical way. She explains all the dangers of genetically modified crops, industrialized large-scale agribusiness, corporations like Monsanto and Unilever, and chemical-intensive farming. Even more importantly, she supplies readers with tips on how they can make changes when it comes to food that actually help both the planet and the consumer (i.e. buy local, reducing emissions from food transport, and organic, reducing chemicals put into land, food, and body). The book highlights the problems posed by industrial agriculture, while also instilling in the reader the sense that he/she can do something about it by making different decisions at the grocery store or, better yet, the farmers’ market.