Saturday, March 31, 2007

Low Carb vs. Low Carbon

We all hear the about the importance of how eating local is not only good for our health, but also good in supporting our local farmers and helping to reduce carbon emissions that harm the environment. Well it didn’t take long for this awareness to spawn a “new diet” craze. MSNBC/Newsweek reports the importance of the “low carbon diet”:

As if counting calories weren’t enough, now you can calculate the “carbon cost” of your food. Starting next month, Bon Appetit, a food-service company that operates corporate and university cafeterias, will test a “low-carbon diet,” designed to reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause global warming. Instead of, say, a tilapia fillet (frozen using electricity from a coal-fired power plant and flown in from China on a carbon-dioxide-emitting jet), customers can choose a dish using locally produced ingredients. And forget bottled water. “We want folks to realize that their food choices can have an effect on climate change,” says Helene York, director of the Bon Appetit Foundation. Studies show that the production, processing, packaging and transportation of food may contribute up to one third of the greenhouse-gas emissions each year. Bon Appetit’s Maisie Greenawalt says, “This is about asking yourself, ‘Do I need a banana even if it’s flown in from Ecuador, or can I replace it with an apple grown nearby?”

Is it ironic that the low-carbon diet runs almost directly contradictory to the low carb diets that plagued our hearts and cholesteral levels of the 90s? Perhaps, or more just a sign of the times that our personal health and environmental health are linked for better or worse.

Crosspost with Green Thinkers.

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