It’s no use being vegan but indulging in other foods that place huge negative consequences on the planet. Although you do sidestep the harm that meat places on the planet’s resources and animals to be produced, there are some other foods that should also be cut from your diet.
- Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs)
Sometimes bacteria is used in foods that are genetically modified, with the result that these could change and create new illnesses. Added to this, if foreign genes are placed on certain plants, these can be poisonous to animals who eat the plant. GMOs can be toxic to bees. We need bees to pollinate crops - in fact, if we didn’t have any more bees, we would lose up to one-third of our food - but they are becoming endangered due to GM crops and other agricultural methods.
- Heavily Packaged Foods
In 2006, packaging accounted for up to 14 million tons of plastic in the U.S. Plastic ends up in landfills and the ocean, posing a danger to animal life. It’s a good idea to make it your mission to purchase goods that have minimal packaging. One of the ways in which to do this is to buy your favorite foods in bulk.
- Foods with Palm Oil
It’s shocking to see how many food items contain palm oil, but it is worth giving them a skip because this ingredient is very hazardous to the environment. Palm oil can be found in a variety of canned goods, cereals, crackers, sweets and more, with 85 per cent of it originating in Malaysia and Indonesia. Up to 30 square miles of forests are cut down in these countries on a daily basis to make way for palm oil plantations. Removing rainforests means also losing animals such as bears, tigers, as well as a variety of birdlife from the area.
- Veggie Burgers
Although you might think they’re a better alternative to meat, veggie burgers are not always good for the environment or your health. For one, they can be heavily processed. Then, to make sure that vegetable burgers have a low fat content, they require their soybean oil to be removed. This is usually done with hexane, an air pollutant that is also suspected of being a neurotoxin. The Environmental Protection Agency has claimed that consuming less than 0.06 milligrams of hexane per kilogram of body weight is probably safe. However, even if it’s possible to be safe while consuming it in small amounts, just the thought that hexane is dangerous to the air and your health should be a put-off.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.