Here’s a hard-to-swallow truth: Much of what we eat comes with a heaping side of climate change. One-third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the food system—getting calories from field to market to plate. Fortunately, some conscientious purveyors are working to reduce their carbon footprints. The result? Staple food items that take some of the bite out of global warming.
Rice is the most consumed food on Earth, but its production creates methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Enter LUNDBERG FAMILY FARMS. A leader in organic farming and renewable energy since its 1937 inception, Lundberg annually audits its land use, distribution, sourcing, energy and water usage, and packaging as well as emissions, which the company mitigates by incorporating straw and cover crops. lundberg.com
Extreme and unpredictable weather patterns threaten global wheat production. The bright side? Ancient and heirloom grains are sturdier than modern wheat and less dependent on chemical inputs that emit greenhouse gases. Case in point: Organic flaxseed meal from BOB’S RED MILL is stone-ground from a nutritious grain whose milling relies on slow, low-temperature processes. bobsredmill.com
Even slight changes in temperature and precipitation can have a dramatic effect on coffee trees’ viability. That’s why Durham, North Carolina-based COUNTER CULTURE COFFEE partnered with Duke University grad students to perform climate change impact and adaptation studies with its Central American co-op suppliers. Counter Culture also publishes an annual sustainability report that tracks its emissions from roasting, air travel, and electricity, and it relies on wind-energy credits to help account for the latter. counterculturecoffee.com
Cows are one of the greatest contributors to greenhouse gases, yet global demand for dairy products is on the rise. Good thing America’s largest organic cooperative, ORGANIC VALLEY, is doing its part to reduce its 1,800 member farms’ emissions. Organic Valley produces, bottles, and distributes all milk, yogurt, butter, and other dairy products within the region where they’re farmed. organicvalley.coop
Source: The Sierra Club