You Are What You Eat…And You’re Eating Trash

It was 1942 when nutritionist Victor Lindlahr published a book called You Are What You Eat: How to Win and Keep Health with Diet. The saying stuck with us, and people still use it to remind each other that food choices should be based on more than flavor and convenience.

But watching what you eat isn’t just about being a careful shopper. The majority of the world’s food is grown and raised outdoors, which means the health of the environment is inextricably linked to the quality of our food system. Pollution anywhere on the planet, even far from farms and fields, has an uncanny ability to work itself into the things we eat on a daily basis. Sometime more directly than we could have ever imagined.

According to research by the Natural Resources Defense Council, plastic trash accounts for 60 – 80 percent of the litter now swirling around in our oceans. Because these plastics take centuries to degrade, its can wash up on our shores, entangle and kill seals, or destroy coral reefs.

Smaller bits of plastic look a lot like the plankton and tiny creatures that fish like to eat. And then we eat the fish. See where this is going? Scroll down for more info on why you’ve probably had trash for dinner.


Related Reading:

10 Most Common Types Of Ocean Trash

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Leads To Boom In Ocean Bugs

How Bad For The Environment Can Throwing Away One Plastic Bottle Be?

Top Image via Thinkstock - Infographic via NRDC Switchboard


Jim Ven
Jim Vabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Lika S.
Lika P5 years ago

In Eugene, Oregon, they have this program where each house is charged per pound how much garbage is charged. So, if you don't recycle, your fee is very high, since you get billed monthly on how much weight they have to pick up.

So, recycling is encouraged. The more you recycle, the lighter your bill, because it's free to recycle to the residents, and the garbage department gets to collect money back from your recyclables.

Here in Racine, WI we are provided with a recycling bin, and the owner of the house can be fined for not recycling. The garbage pick up does not have to take your trash bags that include recyclables. We got free recycling bins, and with increased recycling, the city is making some money rather than losing, and so it's good for us with our high unemployment rates.

Recycle, and save more than the planet, keep costs down.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner5 years ago

The only question now is, not will the disgusting and useless human species go extinct (that's inevitable) but will earth survive it or end up lifeless like mars. Regardless it will take the abused earth at least tens of millions of years to recover from the human cancer once the last human blinks out of existence.

Valentina R.
Valentina R5 years ago

Informative graphic, thank you for sharing.
It is our mission to keep the oceans as clean as possible.

Dale Overall

Recycling should be second nature, so many plastics and other unnecessary pollutants in this world.

E A.
Ei R5 years ago

Using environment friendly items help, but every time we use disposal cups, plates and silverware we also add to the problem. The food in the stores are wrapped in plastic like so many other things. These things are not recycled. We have a long way to go before we respect the oceans.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

Yes, in 1942 when I was born the environment was relatively clean, there weren't that many people in America and they just started using DDT. Ever since Big Oil and Big Chemical has
piled tons and tons of poison on every inch of our soil and in ALL our water. There is no way to get poison OUT of our environment, we can only choose to get less of it. But now I think that's
even impossible. Our government refuses to stop the polluters. I think America is going down
and FAST.

Leia P.
Leia P.5 years ago

im gonna do coastal cleanup this year

Pirjo Ho
Past Member 5 years ago


Sandi C.
Sandi C5 years ago