Once a week we post a challenge on our instagram, @jewishyouthclimatemovement. Each challenge includes great ways to create a more sustainable lifestyle and lower your carbon footprint.
Eating Organic foods is a healthier life choice. Organic farms produce less pollution and use less chemicals on their produce, which is better for your body and the earth. Certified Organic farms must follow guidelines that only allow use of pesticides derived from natural sources. These are better for our body, as many synthetic fertilizers contain harmful chemicals. Organic farms are also more sustainable, as non-organic pesticides deplete the soil of its natural nutrients, degrading soil health over time, and causing the land to become infertile after consecutive years of use. In addition, constant pesticide use can cause plants and bugs to become resistant to the pesticides used. This is called the pesticide treadmill. Due to resilient weeds and bugs, farmers need to use more and more harmful chemicals. Many of the chemicals being pumped into the soil do not sink very deep, and so as soon as rain comes along, some of the pesticide and fertilizer runs off the farm, into nearby rivers and water supplies. So, what you eat doesn't just effect your own health, it effects local water systems and animals as well.
It is also important to understand labels as you are shopping in a store, as it is easy to get confused and 'greenwashed' by companies. Greenwashing can happen when companies manipulate consumer perceptions about their food products. See the visuals from Farm Forward below to get a better understanding of where your food comes from and what each label means.
“Crop Diversity: Why It Matters.” Crop Trust, 1AD, www.croptrust.org/our-mission/crop-diversity-why-it-matters/.
Harper, Gemma C., and Aikaterini Makatouni. “Consumer Perception of Organic Food Production and Farm Animal Welfare.” British Food Journal, vol. 104, no. 3/4/5, 2002, pp. 287–299., doi:10.1108/00070700210425723.
“Antibiotic Resistance.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antibiotic-resistance.