Raw Foods Diet

Though many people come to a raw foods diet for health reasons like weight loss and managing disease in the body, there is an additional benefit that often gets overlooked: environmental impact. Some of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gasses and carbon emissions are the production of meat, the transportation of food across great distances and the production of plastics and packaging for prepared meals and food-stuffs.

Meat: The Ultimate Offender

Raw Foods DietA vegan raw food diet, however, is quite the opposite. Composed largely of fruits with some vegetables, seeds and nuts, raw food diets rely almost entirely on produce. Because of this, it is easy to shop locally which is one of the most popular ways to reduce a carbon footprint.

Consider these scary statistics about food and meat production: 18 percent of greenhouses gas emissions are the direct result of livestock; 70 percent of Latin America’s forests have become land used for housing livestock; the majority of the world’s grain production goes to feed livestock instead of feeding people in need; a meat-based diet requires more than seven times the land than a plant-based diet.

A raw food diet not only encourages a healthy body, but a healthy planet. There is virtually zero waste from plastics and composite material, no toxins or chemicals are required to produce a raw dieter’s food and if shopping is done locally, there is very little transportation impact. Plus, money and economic exchange directly benefits the local community instead of going overseas to outsourced and imported products.

Beyond meat production, which requires tremendous resources of grain-feed, energy and land, extensive food production is resulting in genetically modified foods, heavy pesticide usage and big business taking over from local farmers and family-run operations.

Overcoming Hunger and Disease

As worldwide hunger becomes a larger issue for many struggling communities, a raw foods diet becomes an obvious answer for the health-and-environment-conscious individual.

Converting the thousands upon thousands of acres of grazing land into usable farm-land as well as moving grain production from a livestock-based operation to a mission to feed the hungry seems like an obvious and simple solution.

However, meat-based diets and the popularity of pre-packaged convenience meals continue to infect our society. The result leads to growing environmental sickness and extensive disease in the form of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more.

Of course, individuals seeking to produce the smallest carbon footprint will not only move towards a raw foods diet, but they should also try home-gardening and self-sustaining food production. Even the most modest home garden can produce herbs, a small selection of vegetables and a few varieties of fruit using container methods or small planters on a porch. Nothing is more rewarding for the environment and your body than eating organic, homegrown food produced right in your own backyard.

Feel Better While You Save the Planet

Eating the foods that our bodies have come to rely on for vitamins, minerals, amino acids and overall health is a great way to take control of your health and wellbeing. By removing chemical-ridden prepared foods, environmentally-taxing meats and transportation-heavy imported produce, that health and wellbeing begins to extend beyond your body and into the community and the planet at large.

If gardening seems overwhelming, start by visiting the local farmer’s market. Farmers are happy to discuss their produce, farming methods and seasonal items. Or, you can join a local CSA (community supported agriculture) and receive a weekly/bi-weekly supply of fresh and local produce.

A raw foods diet promotes a lifestyle rich in natural foods that leads to a healthy body, home and planet. It is the ultimate solution to so many of the world’s problems and incredibly simple to implement with a little planning and forethought.

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