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12 Foods That are Bad for the Planet

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Foods

High-fructose corn syrup is one of the most environmentally damaging ingredients for a variety of reasons. Firstly, corn is grown as a monoculture, meaning the land is used solely for corn and not rotated, which depletes soil nutrients, contributes to erosion and requires more pesticides and fertilizer. The use of such chemicals contributes to problems like the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, an area of the ocean where nothing can live because the water is starved of oxygen, and atrazine, a common herbicide used on corn crops, has been shown to turn male frogs into hermaphrodites. Milling and chemically altering corn to produce high-fructose corn syrup is also an energy-intensive practice.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: That Sweet, Sweet Bully

Much Non-local food

Many people eat local for the freshness or to support the community, but the most widely touted benefit of local food is that it reduces fossil fuel consumption. According to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the average fresh food items on your dinner table travel 1,500 miles to get there. Although there’s disagreement over whether “food miles” are the best measure of a food’s carbon footprint, buying food at your local farmers market is one way to guarantee your food hasn’t traveled too far to get to your plate.

Related Links:
Forever foods: 10 cooking staples that will outlive you

10 exotic dishes that might make you queasy

7 animals that are eaten alive by humans

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

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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.

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