Today, land clearing to making room for expansive ranches, and farms to grow feed for cattle, are a leading driver of climate change and forest destruction. In the Brazilian Amazon, cattle ranching now occupies 32 million acres of former rainforest, an area nearly the size of Germany.
If more of your diet comes from veggies, and little of it from meat (especially beef), youíll make a positive impact both on your health and the planet.
Homemade is best. The pilgrims didnít have the option of ordering in, or opening cans or frozen packages to prepare their meal. While these things certainly are convenient, nothing quite compares to the flavor and comfort of home-cooked dishes. Starting with whole ingredients (especially those grown locally) means less energy has gone into processing, packaging and transporting food to your table. And it means you will know what is in the dish you are eating, and how and when it was made.
If canned yams and green-bean casserole with frozen beans have become your Thanksgiving menu mainstays, think about swapping them out with raw and fresh alternatives. Although the washing, chopping, and other prep may take you a bit longer, your meal will retain more nutrients. Why not view cooking as an opportunity to create something with your family that you can all enjoy once itís ready?
Sarene Marshall is the Managing Director for The Nature Conservancy’s Global Climate Change Team. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and an MA in International Studies from University of Pennsylvania, and is fluent in Spanish. Sarene, a mother of two, enjoys gardening and gourmet cooking.
Image: Thanksgiving dinner. Credit: Flickr user Roger Smith via a Creative Commons license.