How climate-friendly menus fit in to a just food system

Our planet carries the weight of how we grow food. And while dietary choices can drive market shifts, the option to vote with your fork isn’t equally available to everyone. That’s why climate-friendly menus matter. What’s on menus determines what’s grown and what’s eaten. Menus are one more lever that can shift our food systems toward just food, sustainably.

Photo: Pixabay

It’s often the case that the food healthiest for us is also the healthiest for the planet. Sustainable food must be so for people and the planet we live on. …


Creative math can’t deny U.S. beef is a climate catastrophe

As the clock runs down on avoiding catastrophic climate change, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging America’s burger habit.

Beef gets a bad rap for good reason. There is no sustainable method of producing beef at current levels of consumption. Industrial agriculture is an environmental nightmare, from feed crop to slaughterhouse. And a Harvard study determined that current pastureland could only support 27% of the beef supply if we switched to a grass-fed system — the number would be even smaller if we were assessing a regenerative system. …


The beef with burgers and false solutions to the climate crisis

Burger King claims to have found the Holy Grail of food-related climate solutions: the reduced methane emissions burger. The company claims that by introducing 100 grams of lemongrass into their beef cow’s daily diets they’ve reduced by 33% emissions tied to their burgers.

Let’s be clear. Cows are key drivers of climate change and tossing a little lemongrass into their diets won’t change that.

Burgers are a cornerstone of the sustainable food conversation among foodies and families alike. But changing what cows eat simply won’t make the difference we need to meet global emission-reduction targets. …


How the meat monopoly is killing animals, people and the planet

By Mia MacDonald of Brighter Green and Jennifer Molidor of the Center for Biological Diversity

This spring, U.S. meat corporations raised false fears of a “meat shortage.” While the supply crisis didn’t pan out, it did expose a much bigger problem designed by a small, consolidated and powerful set of corporations.

With the White House and too many legislators willing to do the meat industry’s bidding, the foxes are guarding our hen houses with unjust, lethal and environmentally toxic consequences just so the six companies that control the majority of meat processing in the U.S. …


How beef-heavy diets threaten water in the West

Photo cby Lomig on Unsplash

Whether you’re chomping on burgers in Portland or Seattle, or eating a steak in Los Angeles or Denver, the beef production needed for these meals is depleting our rivers in the West.

For many of us living in western states, threats of drought and water scarcity are ever-present. We know to use water wisely and conserve when we can. But there’s one big aspect of water use that we need to talk about — meat production.

A landmark new study in Nature Sustainability, “Water Scarcity and Fish Imperilment Driven by Beef Production,” connects beef production to water scarcity and threats…


New report reveals supermarkets’ slow road to zero food waste

Don’t think about where all this produce came from. (Photo credit: Daylen/Wikimedia Commons)

Recently, while shopping, I was horrified to see a supermarket employee throwing away a whole stand of perfectly good apples. Shockingly, this happens every day around the country.

Grocery stores continue to discard edible food and disregard policies that could stop food waste before it starts. That’s in part because these supermarkets are designed to create an illusion of abundance.

As shoppers sort through pyramids of produce for the most visually appealing fruits and vegetables, we aren’t supposed to think about what happens to all the food that doesn’t make it into our baskets. We shouldn’t consider how it got…


It’s time to hold some of the biggest waste offenders accountable

Photo by Sydney Rae

Food waste is taking a toll on the environment, the economy and the fight against hunger. That’s why April has been named “Winning on Reducing Food Waste” month. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration are teaming up to reduce food waste.

While that’s a step in the right direction, the government’s lack of specific actions still lets the biggest food-waste offenders, especially grocery stores, off the hook. One big problem is the government’s message of “feed people, not landfills.” By the time food is wasted it’s too late to prevent environmental impacts.

Food…


Despite industry hype, burgers are still eating up the environment

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s no such thing as sustainable beef with our current rates of consumption and its impact on the planet.

Don’t believe the hype: there’s no such thing as “sustainable beef.” (Credit: Pixabay)

Yet there’s a lot of hype from the industry these days to revamp beef as the new eco-friendly food. Environmental scientists don’t buy it and neither should you, because it’s nothing but greenwashing.

What’s my beef with this common food staple? And as I reported last year, we simply can’t meet global climate goals without reducing meat consumption, especially beef. …


Case study: Tesco

The new report, “Checked Out: How U.S. Supermarkets Fail to Make the Grade in Reducing Food Waste,” shows that the European company Tesco has emerged as a global leader in reducing food waste in the grocery retail sector. In many ways, its strategies for tracking, reporting and reducing food waste are effective models for the U.S. market.

Tesco’s commitment to eliminating food waste, as well as the scope of its programs to address food waste throughout its supply chain and operations, and its transparency in tracking and reporting on its progress is the most ambitious of European supermarkets. …


The environmental impacts of supermarket food waste

An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, totaling about 62.5 million tons. That costs households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually.

Also wasted were the resources that went into producing that food, including 25 percent of all freshwater consumed, 13 percent of the total carbon emissions and 80 million acres of farmland used in the United States.

Uneaten food is the single largest source of trash in municipal landfills, attracting wildlife with an unnatural and often toxic food source. Landfills are the third largest source of the greenhouse gas methane

Jennifer Molidor, Ph.D.

Writer, teacher, advocate for wildlife and wilderness, campaigner for sustainable, just, humane food systems. BiologicalDiversity.org/Food

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store