Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Ruth Sandra Sperling
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Well, this is a new slant on helping to do something about climate change. I had never read much of anything about it until today - and I guess this was a good day to learn something new about how I could help reduce climate change - it is the offical Earth Day, after all!!

Funny thing about it - it coincides with what I do to eat a healthy diet for me (healthy for my body, I mean, not just the planet).

"Low-carb" has an additional meaning these days.

"Low-carb" for years has meant eating a diet with carbohydrate grams of what you eat being below a certain level.

Well, this "low-carb" diet has a new meaning for "carb" - in this meaning "carb" means carbon and a Low Carbon Diet means a diet low or lower in contributing to carbon emissions. When the food production, transportation of the food and disposal of any of the food (and how) is calculated, foods have different carbon levels - there are are low carbon foods, or lower carbon foods and higher carbon foods.

Apparently meat - such as beef - and cheese - and some fish or seafood - are higher carbon foods, while poultry is a lower carbon food than livestock meat - and locally grown vegetables and fruits are really lower carbon foods. Locally grown fruits, vegetable - or locally grown anything - is lower carbon because there will either be no transportation - or very little.

Fruits and vegetable generally are a low carbon food, but those Dutch red peppers from The Netherlands are much higher carbon because of all the transportation from The Netherlands, which causes a lot of carbon emissions. Those Dutch red peppers (the sweet variety that I like so much) and that I have seen in some produce sections look gorgeous and delicious, but both the price and the fact that they came from overseas put me off right away and I wouldn't buy them.

On the other hand, going to the local orchard where you can pick the fruit you want off the tree yourself and put them in your own boxes or bags that you are re-using - and that taste many times better than the same kinds of fruit in the grocery store that came by 18-wheel refrigerator trucks - will really have a lower carbon level, because:

1) locally grown (no carbon emissions from 18-wheel refrigerator trucks!!!!)
2) hand-picked
3) no packaging because you pick it and can put it in your own recyclable, reusable container
4)very little waste because it tastes so delicious and you eat it ALL!!

My home grown fresh herbs are really low carbon - I grow them in my front yard in containers organically and when I want them, I just step outside and cut a few pieces off to put in whatever I am cooking. Locally grown, hand-picked as needed, no packaging and no waste at all!!

Check out this link for a "Low Carbon Diet Pocket Guide" by Bon Appetit Management Company: http://www.circleofresponsibility.com/uploads/documents/low_carbon_diet/8-1740_lcd_pocket_guide-final.pdf.

If you want, use their Low Carbon Diet Calculator at http://www.eatlowcarbon.org/.

Like I said, reading about the Low Carbon Diet - it coincides to some degree with my own personalized diet - lots of fresh vegetables and a moderate amount of fresh fruit - poultry, which is my main animal protein, is definitely preferred over any livestock meat like beef. The only real difference is that a doctor recommended wild alaskan salmon, which I understand is a fairly high carbon emission food because of how it is caught and transported, but I only eat a small amount of that.

So do two things - eat healthier for you and eat more low carbon for the planet.

Every day is really Earth Day!!

To a healthy environment for all of us --


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