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Eating Green Calculator from Center for Science in the Public Interest
Eating green improves green agriculture with consumer choices. Measure your environmental impact with this food calculator.
Americans consume over 1 billion pounds—and one trillion calories—of food each day. To produce the grains, meat and poultry, and fruits and vegetables that feed a country of nearly 300 million people, our agricultural system consumes enormous quantities of fuel, fertilizers, water, pesticides, and enormous tracts of land—not just for growing food for people, but mostly for producing food for livestock.
And ultimately, a diet rich in fatty animal products and poor in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables consumes the consumer: Higher rates of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, and obesity cause hundreds of thousands premature deaths each year. Six Arguments for a Greener Diet exposes those and other underreported facts and carefully connects the dots between a healthy diet and a healthy planet.
Making several little changes quickly adds up to an overall healthier diet. Replacing one 3.5-ounce serving of beef, one egg, and a 1-ounce serving of cheese each day with a mix of vegetables, fruit, beans, and whole grains would:
- increase the person's daily consumption of dietary fiber by 16 grams (more than half the recommended intake) and reduce the intake of fat by 22 grams (one-third of the recommended daily limit) and saturated fat by 12 grams (more than half the recommended limit); and
- spare the need for 1.8 acres of cropland, 40 pounds of fertilizer, and 3 ounces of pesticides each year. It also would mean dumping 11,400 fewer pounds of animal manure into the environment each year.
Multiply those improvements by millions of people and it's easy to see the dramatic improvements in health and reductions in pollution that dietary changes could bring about.
Based on the book: Six Arguments for a Greener Diet By Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., and the Staff of the Center for Science in the Public Interest
Eating Green Calculator
Edited by Carolyn Allen