InformAction Newsletter
Actionable insights from Brandology®
              Our nation uses 19% of our fossil fuel per year producing and transporting food---virtually the same amount as we use driving cars. The quickest way to dramatically reduce that fuel usage (and the greenhouse gases produced) is to stop overeating, according to intriguing research from David Pimentel at Cornell University.

       The average consumer (obviously not you and me) eats 3,747 calories per day. According to the FDA, we should eat 2,000-2,500 calories daily. If everyone ate within those guidelines, the US would significantly lower its energy needs.

       Additionally, if we reduced junk food from the current 33% of our collective diet to 10%, we would “double up” on savings, because snacks, sodas, etc. require the highest energy inputs and deliver the most empty calories.

       Although “eating locally” has gotten significant press over the past two years, 75% or more of the energy used to get food to the table is consumed in production, not transportation. So eating vegetarian one night per week is estimated to deliver the same energy savings as eating locally 100% of the time.

       Switching to an entirely vegetarian diet is probably too drastic for most people, but it would reduce the energy used for food production by roughly 33% and reduce greenhouse gases 50% more than switching to a hybrid car.

We should think about...
  • Should we modify our personal diets?
  • How can we best spread the word about the many personal and planetary benefits of eating less or eating a different mix of foods?
  • For those of us in the food industry: should we focus more on providing low-calorie and vegetarian options?
Sources: Cornell University 2008; Food Navigator 2008;
Human Ecology 2008; Ideal Bite 2008
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