The 5 Best Foods for the Environment—and the 5 Worst
We make hundreds of food choices a week, for as many reasons—accessibility, taste, health, affordability and novelty among them. This is not a list of foods that one should or shouldn't eat; rather, this is additional information to help make those choices.
Consider the graph below. You might be surprised to see that some of your favorite foods—health benefits aside—have the greatest effects on the environment. It doesn't mean that you need to swear off avocados or chocolate altogether (can you imagine?), but the knowledge will help inform your food choices.
There is one very clear takeaway, though: Food that is sustainable is also incredibly nutritious. Your own health and the health of the planet go hand in hand.
According to a compilation of studies published in the journal Science, these foods rank highest and lowest in terms of greenhouse gas emissions across the supply chain. These rankings take into consideration land use, emissions at the farm, animal feed, processing emissions for converting the items into sellable products, transportation, and food miles, as well as the energy needed at retail establishments (such as refrigerators) and emissions from the production of each product's packaging materials.