(about the climate)
Written By Evan Collins
July 15, 2022
Your favorite healthy food might be lying to you.
Shock! Surprise! Heresy, they shout! My food is perfect in every way that matters and every way conceivable! There is no way it could be as devious and despicable as to dilute my healthy diet with lies! You must be wrong, completely incorrect! Flabbergast and oh how crass!
Yet! They hated Jesus, because He told them the truth. (Gal. 4:16) In a day and age of ideal bodies and healthy living to prolong our short time on this wonderful planet, many turn to diets and fads to sate their need for a healthier form. Slim out, put down the carbs, no more bread, they say. Its good for you and good for the environment, though many don’t know the second half is a total lie.
While your avocado toast and a Starbucks coffee might make you feel good in the morning, the ground to which it was grown on doesn’t appreciate your green breakfast. These following foods cause direct harm to mother nature, green and good for you or not, either because of our own actions and rampant desire, or by its own making and taking up one of the most valuable resources we cannot find anywhere else.
Woe to thee who gets addicted to these, you may be doing more harm than good.
Bananas. Good in the morning, better before bed. Bananas with peanut butter; trust me, its good. Some 100 million bananas are eaten each year! Makes sense, we were once monkeys after all. Yet, bananas have a big problem. Its twofold, and entirely based on geography. Bananas must be grown in tropical environments, causing massive deforestation to grow the huge amount of crops needed to feed our monkey brains.
Bananas also require heavy amounts of pesticides, more than other crops, because of their thick peel. Bananas also must be transported. It is easy to do so, because they ripen on their own and take a long while to do so. Bananas are packed in refrigerated containers and ship to the North Americas over a long and generally-bad-for-the-planet 9 to 11 day trip. Just because it is easy doesn’t mean it is good. Shipping alone produces nearly 3% of all carbon emissions we put into the atmosphere. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but in raw numbers that is 940 MILLION tonnes. Even if you drive a Tesla, your banana snack does more harm than good.
Soy Beans. Soy toast, soy milk. Tofu. The go-to replacement for meat everywhere. Your local fast food’s plant based burgers are all made using soy, and are universally praised as being healthy and vegan. If a customer is looking for a healthy alternative, soy tends to be the go-to product to fill their needs. It has its roots in Asian culture, over 2000 years ago in china, with Tofu being a massively popular food and found just about anywhere. It is universal, it is mass producible, and it is downright everywhere.
Hark! Woe to ye! Drop your soy toast and listen in! The WWF has done extensive research into the Soy Bean Fad, and discovered its dangers in disguise! To meet the world’s increasing need of Soy, hundreds upon thousands of acres of jungle rainforest is mowed down like the wheat it replaces to grow this little bean.
The legendary Amazon Rainforest in Brazil is being consumed by the bean hundreds of acres at a time. Crop rotation rarely occurs and the soil becomes highly compacted due to the highly erodible soil in the area. Soy may be good for you, but how we make it is most certainly not good for the planet.
They are at the gates, bashing down the doors and smashing the windows. Cries of lies and slander; the Sunday drivers and morning mothers. Office workers and afternoon managers. From presidents to prime ministers, dictators to grandma and grandfathers. Every street has a Tim Hortons or Starbucks (On Google Maps, Oshawa, Ontario Canada, has TWENTY Tim Hortons), Coffee is the second most traded grown commodity in the world.
In the United States, 2020 saw the Coffee industry sell over 14.9 billion in coffee. Even in the height of Covid-19, Coffee was too important to stay isolated.
So, why is it so bad? Coffee is a tropical plant, like soy and bananas, so it also must be shipped. Coffee traditionally grows under the canopies of tropical jungle and forests, but worldwide demand as forced farmers to use artificial coverings.
What was once a home for birds and insects now is plastic tarp and greenhouse. Its growth requirements have mowed down 2.5 million acres in central America, according to One Green Planet, making it one of the largest deforesting products in the world. Like it or not, Coffee is killing the planet, worse than soy and banana.
Sadly in the wide realm of climate change and its ever infinite causes and causations, not all the issues pertaining to what food has lied to the consumer and in what way are entirely because of humans, or if anything, preventable by then. Indeed, both homo sapiens and our leafy greens we share this planet with rely on the good old H-Two-Oh. Water. The guardian produced a study back in 2016 of how much water it took to grow and/or produce one kg of food.
Chocolate ranked an astonishing 17,196 litres per kg, the NUMBER ONE spot, above cows and pigs and chickens and sheep. Yet these insane numbers were in the tens of thousands, most didn’t pass five thousand. Indeed, the top two spots for water consumed for plants were Olives, and Rice.
This might seem like bad news for olives, but Rice wins out on another quantity. 3.5 BILLION people depend on rice as a food source, a statistic where olives don’t even make the list. Even in nations where beef and cows and chickens aren’t eaten in high quantity, and instead fish are, rice can still be found… and it’s taking more water than we can handle.
Still not convinced water is a problem? How about a nut. A healthy nut. One of the best nuts to eat. As a snack, a part of a salad. Turned into milk? The great and powerful almond is a source of rich protein for vegans and vegetarians.
Eating clean favors these little white nuts because of their nutrition and tastiness, even when not salted or tossed in salad. A percentage around the grain of 80% of all almonds are grown in California, one of America’s most interesting (and perhaps infamous) states. Why infamous? If not the political, celebrity, and general life climates, it’s the actual climate.
California suffers from some of the worst draughts anywhere in the world, with its longest in recent memory from December 2011 to March 2017, just about six years!
The problem truly stems from almonds themselves. Because of Californian draughts, its hard to produce the yummy nut, and Almonds themselves take a lot of water. A LOT of water. In a study published in The Atlantic, the author details that “…each almond requires 1.1 gallons of water to produce…” Each almond. Each SINGULAR almond. Rice needs to step up its game, Almonds are drinking the sea dry.
This… is the Balrog of The Mines of Moria. The enemy at the gates. If you thought Almonds and Rice were bad, ho boy, Avocados are going to surprise you. They are the darkness in the corner, whispering good things like “healthy diet” and “fights cancer.”
While they may provide us with the good nutrition, they are the vampire sapping the world for nutrients. In comparison to almonds, of which a single nut takes one gallon of water, or 4.5 litres, avocados may have them beat.
A single avocado, which is mostly seed and some edible plant, takes SEVENTY litres per avocado. And that is on the best case scenario; in temperate and dry climates, such as Mexico where most Avocados are grown, this can rise to 320 litres PER AVOCADO. At 1280 litres per 1kg of avocado, they consume more water than some livestock does.
This is obviously not good, but to make matters worse: avocados come at a land cost. In some Mexican states, it leads up to 40% of all deforestation, at a growing rate. Mexico sells over 2 million tonnes of avocado a year, a rapidly growing market especially in Asia, mainly China, where the market is bumping up almost 200% a year.
Even if they are green, and even if they are good for you, avocados are like making a deal with the devil as he eats away at mother earth.
Lies and Slander
Pitchforks and torches. These have been six healthy, good-for-you foods that are in actuality liars and cheats. Some are man-made disasters while others grew into their issues. Either through deforestation, shipping and carbon costs, or swallowing up too much of the earth’s most precious resource, these plants are some of the worst of the worst. Good for you, but bad for the environment.
31 Coffee Brands, Ranked From Worst To Best
Free Photo | Sack of rice with rice on wooden spoon and rice plant
One Major Side Effect of Not Eating Bananas, Says Science
The health benefits of almonds | BBC Good Food
This Is What Happens When You Eat Avocados — Eat This Not That
Go bananas for…bananas – Mayo Clinic News Network
From Farm to Kitchen | Equal Exchange
Soy | Industries | WWF
Crop Rotations – Rodale Institute
Coffee Consumption by Country 2022
Coffee and its Impact on People, Animals and the Planet
Food Staple | National Geographic Society
Will Mexico’s Growing Avocado Industry Harm Its Forests?
In Mexico, high avocado prices fueling deforestation | AP News