By Laura Moss, MNN
You know what foods are bad for you, and you know you should eat them in moderation to stay healthy. However, there are also many foods that are bad for the Earth’s health. Check out these 12 foods that are hurting the environment and learn how you can eat a more planet-friendly diet.
Rice is the major calorie source for half of the world’s population, but growing rice accounts for one-third of the planet’s annual freshwater use, according to Oxfam. Luckily, a new farming method known as System of Rice Intensification has been developed that enables farmers to produce up to 50 percent more rice with less water. Oxfam is working to get rice-producing countries to convert 25 percent of their rice cultivation to SRI by 2025.
Genetically Modified Foods
As with human health risks, it’s unlikely that all the potential environmental harms of genetically modified foods have been identified, but here are some of the main concerns about GMOs.
- Lower level of biodiversity: By making a crop resistant to a certain pest, the food sources for other animals could be removed. Also, the addition of foreign genes to plants could be toxic and endanger the animals that consume the plant.
- Spread of altered genes: Novel genes placed in crops won’t necessarily stay in designated agricultural fields. The genes can easily spread via pollen and share their altered genes with non-genetically modified plants.
- Creation of new diseases: Some GM foods are modified using bacteria and viruses, which means they could adapt and create new diseases.