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12 Foods That are Bad for the Planet

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Sugar

More than 145 millions tons of sugar are produced in 121 countries each year, according to the World Wildlife Fund, and production on such a scale takes its toll on the Earth. Sugar may be responsible for more biodiversity loss than any other crop, according to a 2004 WWF “Sugar and the Environment” report, due to its habitat destruction, its intensive use of water and pesticides, and the polluted wastewater discharged during the production process.

Thousands of acres of the Florida Everglades have been compromised after years of sugar cane farming — subtropical forests became lifeless marshland after excessive fertilizer runoff and irrigation drainage. Waters around the Great Barrier Reef are also suffering due to the large quantities of pesticides and sediment from sugar farms.

Sugar Alternatives

Meat

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, if every American substituted one meal of chicken with vegetarian food, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off U.S. roads. Here are some of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization’s findings on meat and the environment:

  • 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock — more than from transportation.
  • 70 percent of previously forested land in the Amazon was cleared to pasture cattle.
  • The world’s largest source of water pollution is the livestock sector.
  • Livestock are responsible for a third of the nitrogen and phosphorus in U.S. freshwater resources.
  • Livestock account for about 20 percent of land animals, and the 30 percent of Earth’s land they occupy was once inhabited by wildlife.

10 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes

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Read more: Environment, Food, News & Issues

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Megan, selected from Mother Nature Network

Mother Nature Network's mission is to help you improve your world. From covering the latest news on health, science, sustainable business practices and the latest trends in eco-friendly technology, MNN.com strives to give you the accurate, unbiased information you need to improve your world locally, globally, and personally – all in a distinctive thoughtful, straightforward, and fun style.

205 comments

+ add your own
6:38PM PDT on Oct 1, 2012

Thank you for info.

6:38PM PDT on Oct 1, 2012

Thank you for info.

6:37PM PDT on Oct 1, 2012

Thank you for info.

8:54AM PDT on May 15, 2012

Fantastic article, thanks.

8:53AM PDT on May 15, 2012

Fantastic article, thanks.

8:52AM PDT on May 15, 2012

Fantastic article, thanks.

4:55PM PST on Mar 6, 2012

Thanks.

1:23PM PST on Dec 26, 2011

Thanks.

6:58PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

thanks

4:15PM PDT on Jul 13, 2011

This information is right on target.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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