Sustainability is the ability of any living thing to endure or tolerate something. In humans, there is sustainability of various types of food. These foods have impacts on the environment on one way or the other. Humans have responsibility in the long -run for its environment, social and economic undertakings. A substantial amount of energy flow and the cycling of biogeochemical in an ecosystem determine the number of organisms living there. Harmful alteration of global climate, which include but not limited to the chemical that are vital to life, such chemicals are carbon, water, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorous.
In human life, such chemicals are crucial for normal functioning of the body. Human day-to-day activities in the effort of obtaining their food leave an escalating and noteworthy effect on the environment and thus lessen their bio-capacity and resilience. Human consumption of food affects the environment in a number of ways (Leitzmann, 2003). The process of food production, packaging, and distribution can together contribute to ecological alteration. There are various activities done to facilitate the production of food, these include clearing of land, this causes the destruction of habitat and facilitate the loss of wilderness.
In countries like Asia, cattle rearing, which are mostly ranching, are the main cause of desertification; this is because rainforests are destroyed by clearing and burning to create space for cattle ranching. All types of food have effects on the environment; however, some food productions have more impacts on the environment than others (Leitzmann, 2003). Some of the foods that have the highest impact on the environment include meat; their production consumes a lot of energy and water besides the land. To produce a pound of grain-fed beef, approximately 2,500 gallons of water and 16 pounds of wheat are required. In cattle, production there is water pollution due to the discharges made to rivers by factories processing the beef. Air pollution is too experienced since waste gases from the factory are emitted into the air.
Seafood is less harmful to the environment, though there are some negative impacts linked to aquaculture and fishing, they have less impact to the environment. Fishing and aquaculture causes the destruction of mangroves and wetlands, but they are much better as compared with meat production. Less amount of energy is used and the pollution is minimal in obtaining the seafood (Baroni et al, 2006). Organic food such as fruits, vegetables, and grains also has less impact on the environment. Such food, which is grown locally, will save the world since they are not transported from far hence minimal air pollution, which could have been high due to transportation. There also negative impacts on the environment owing the application of fertilizers to the soil but the effect are less as compared to the production of beef (Leitzmann, 2003).
Based on various studies, every individual ought to make the decision on the correct choice of food to consume. The type of choice made determine the general health globally, the more an individual consume a healthy diet the more the environment is been less polluted and thus global health is enhanced. The public should share this policy and that environmental footprint adopted for a healthier population (Baroni et al, 2006).
In conclusion, while every human being must eat in order to live, we can enlighten ourselves through education on how to make the best choices on the type of food we have to consume to decrease the detrimental consequences of our diet. Consuming less animal products and more of organically and locally grown products is advisable. Animal-based food is more harmful to human health and environment in general as opposed to locally and organically grown food, which are suitable for both your health and for the health of the entire Earth.
Baroni, L., Cenci, L., Tettamanti, M. & Berati, M. (2006). Evaluating the environmental impact of various dietary patterns combined with different food production systems. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, epub ahead of print, pp 1-8.
Leitzmann, C. (2003). Nutrition ecology: the contribution of vegetarian diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 78(suppl.):657S-659S.