Save Our Future and Our Planet 2

Learn to be an eco-tourist everyday, where your good choices favorably affects the lands on which your food is grown, and helps the other life-forms with whom we share our amazing planet.

Eco-tourism is not just about animal photo-ops, seeing the situation elsewhere, providing dollars for locals to protect native animals instead of hunting them and returning monies to locals to help them in their plight caused by climate change — much of it caused by industrial countries of the first and second world. Although these are important objectives, and accomplishments, the issues are deeper and need more action.

Rachel Cernansky’s the author of this deforestation diet. She says that everyone hears a lot about the importance of eating organic and eating local, but what’s left out of the conversation are the growing methods of some of our staple foods, and their ecological “cost”, even if they are locally produced.

It is truly shocking how much forest land, and especially rainforest land, has been lost to grow (or raise) products like beef, rice and palm oil — the latter of which is in more foods than you might realize (start reading product labels).

When wealthy, educated or uneducated (or just greedy) landowners want the most bang in the world market, they have been choosing crops and livestock unsuited for their land, but wanted by wealthy countries’ manufacturers and fast-food chains.

Then, when their agricultural land becomes unproductive (usually after about three years), it is often cheaper to clear new land than to fertilize the already-decimated land to replenish nutrients that were drained from the soil. Often, in the slash-and-burn process, they seek to grab more land, too, often from lands responsibly managed by aboriginal populations; this is especially true in Brazil’s Amazonia. Brazil has not been protecting the tribes.

Monocrop agriculture is also a major factor in how modern food production has become unsustainable. Yet, coffee and banana production both serve as examples of smooth, successful transitions to better methods. They had been drivers of deforestation in the past, but more recently farmers have been using more inter-cropping and forest mid-level canopy “cover” (ever heard of shade-grown coffee?). All this helps to prevent deforestation and helps preserve biodiversity of both plants and animals. Preventing plantations of a singular species is important, whether it be monocrops of trees for lumber or food crops.

Definitely, this change in the banana and coffee industry is due in no small part to activist campaigns waged in recent years to educate consumers and manufacturers and local indigenous activists to generate change in the international manufacturing and supply chains.

Here’s the first of the seven worst common foods which contribute the most to deforestation — and hence, to climate change — around the world. Try not to put any of them on your table at home, and encourage restaurants and hotels wherever you go to do the same. Speak up; let them know better alternatives, and explain why you will not order these items.

Beef
Beef is by far the worst offender of any food item. (Bison is not an offender.) Ecological comments go on top and are apart from the issue of unhealthy cows being forced to eat non-natural foods in wholesale production, which makes them more susceptible to Mad Cow disease. Grass is the only healthy food for cows, and few cows are allowed to eat it anymore.

Beef as a deforestation cause, especially of Brazilian rainforest in the Amazon, is criminal because we know the consequences and the Brazilian government has bowed to wealthy, greedy land-owners instead of to the health of the planet and their land’s future arability.

All this cow farming does is wreck the rainforest, which is in such delicate harmony, that nothing grows there for long after the trees’ wood is harvested, or just burned (causing even more pollution).

Beef is the first food to eliminate, both because of its direct role in forest clearing as well as the huge amount of land converted for food for cattle, (vegetable crops which feed cows and other animals less efficiently could feed more humans, effectively, directly).

And then there’s the massive waste problem from these herds, which often is improperly attended to, if at all, which creates more imbalance and carnage (the same is true for poultry production). And, we need to mention that the methane problem created by animal flatulence is also a huge problem for our atmosphere to deal with!

According to Rhett Butler (of Mongabay, a great site for environmental reporting around the world), despite efforts to combat deforestation through illegal logging, the Amazon is actually losing forest cover faster than ever, (largely due to the cattle industry), which has been growing in Brazil by an average of 3 million head per year since 1974. Mc Donald’s and other fast-food chains get their beef from here. Vote with your dollars!

Read more at: Go Vegetarian at least one Day a Week for the Planet. Here’s why!

In many countries, you will not easily find a beef meal, or it will be exorbitant due to polluting transport and import etc., Instead, choose to eat locally produced foods and be willing to eat vegetarian meals — just like when you are in any home as a guest.

Dairy
It’s a subgroup of the cattle problem. First, support human breast-feeding of infants and toddlers! Secondly, if you are going to use animal milk for children, then use goat milk as it is the ONLY animal which has a nutritional profile close to human milk.

Cow milk is made by Nature for baby cows, not people, and it creates a very wrong nutritional source for people, and is implicated in the destruction of the Islets in our pancreas which we need to produce insulin. “Juvenile” diabetes (misnamed as it can appear at any age) (also called insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetes) results from this! There’s nothing good about cow dairy!

Goat milk has a different flavor, and if you are not used to it, have you and your children order fabulous goat cheeses, especially in Europe, and get them at home, too.

Goats are also more eco-friendly, in every way. The Middle-East and Europe see their value, now we need the Americas to get rid of the large cattle herds and opt for goats, too.

Also read the first part of the series at: Save Your Future and Our Planet and the rest of the series will be in the article archives for Seattle, Vancouver and London. More in the series tomorrow.

Vancouver, B.C. – detailed Vancouver travel articles archive portal, here!

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©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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