If you’re reading this, chances are good that you’re very conscious about the foods you put in your body.
You know a thing or two about what foods are good for you, and which ones aren’t. You understand that there’s more to healthy eating than cutting calories.
You even go the extra mile and pay attention to the foods you eat in between meals, because you understand that your snack choices matter – the wrong snacks can wipe out all the effort you put into exercising and eating well during your main meals, while the right snacks can fuel your productivity, boost your nutrition, and keep you going strong all day.
But have you considered how your snack choices impact the health of our planet, not just your own?
In fact, the vast majority of the snacks that appear in our grocery stores and even in the health stores aren’t very sustainable. What seems like a conscious choice for your health can actually be an unconscious choice for Mother Earth.
The good news is that you can do something about it!
By making small but meaningful changes in your daily eating habits, you can take pride in knowing that your food choices are not just good for the body, mind, and spirit, but also good for the planet too!
#1. Snacks Made From Genetically Modified Crops
Problems: Negatively Impacts Animals and Threatens Organic Farming
Genetically modifying crops makes them resistant to a certain pests, but as a result, those animals and others in the food chain lose access to the food source they depend on to survive.
The foreign genes in those plants can be toxic and endanger the animals that consume the plant.
GM crops can’t be controlled to stay in designated agricultural fields. They easily spread via pollen to non-genetically modified plants and the damage spreads to other farms that are trying to practice organic farming.
How to Avoid It: Look for labels that say “Non-GMO” or “GMO free.” And like the Facebook page of the Non-GMO Project.
#2. Candy (AKA Sugar)
Problems: Habitat Destruction and Pollution
Sugar is big business.
More than 145 million tons of sugar is produced in 121 countries each year, according to the World Wildlife Fund, and production on such a scale inevitably 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 habitat destruction, intensive use of water and pesticides, and the polluted wastewater discharged during the production process.
How to Avoid It: Try to eliminate candies and other sugar-based snacks like cookies and many popular protein bars from your routine, and opt for snacks that are made from nutritious superfoods.
#3. Meat Jerky
Problems: Animal Cruelty and Pollution
Animals used in making meat jerky come from factory farms, which are both inhumane and environmentally destructive.
Over 55 billion animals are killed for meat each year and that’s a lot of toxic animal waste getting flushed into our clean water.
“A pig farm factory was responsible for the largest catastrophic spill in U.S history when 120,000,000 tons of effluence from its manure lagoons was leaked into the rivers and the sea, killing millions of fish. This was twice as big as the Exxon Valdez spill.” Heather Mills, British Activist
According to the Environmental Defense Fund, if every American substituted one meal of chicken or beef with vegetarian food, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off U.S. roads.
How to Avoid It: Cut down your meat consumption and fall in love with dehydrated coconut meat – it’s dense and chewy like animal meat, but with more bio-available nutrients and zero cruelty.
#4. Snacks with Palm Oil
Problems: Destroying Forests and Wildlife
30 square miles of forests are destroyed daily, and palm oil plantations account for the highest rates of deforestation in the world.
Unfortunately, palm oil is found in an estimated 10 percent of U.S. snacks – so as long as people continue to buy these products, the destruction of forests will go on.
When the rain forests disappear, the wildlife dies with it – including orangutans, tigers, bears and other endangered species.
How to Avoid It: If you’re buying your snacks in the grocery stores, read the ingredients label. If palm oil is an ingredient, look for a different product that doesn’t use palm oil. Or go online and look for conscious, supersnack companies and support them (wink).
#5. Snacks Wrapped in Plastic
Problems: Soil and Water Pollution
In 2006, the U.S. generated 14 million tons of plastic through packages and containers alone, according to the EPA.
All that packaging typically ends up in landfills or the ocean, where it poisons the environment, threatens the wildlife, and will remain there for up to thousands of years before it breaks down.
How to Avoid It: Look for snacks that are wrapped in eco-friendly packaging and take your cloth bags with you when you go grocery shopping.
With greater awareness of the foods we put into our bodies, and taking care of our nutritional requirements, we are able to become healthier, live happier and feel good about ourselves as we help to heal our planet.
Continue to do your best to avoid the foods above and strive to become a conscious consumer, bettering our planet, your own health and that of your loved ones.
Peace, Love & Continued Blessings
Nicole Alexandra xx