Features: “4 Foods that Hurt the Planet” and Extras – 10/10/2018

Comic courtesy of Dami Lee

4 foods that hurt the planet

Most people don’t realize that the food industry is one of the main contributors to climate change. Pollution and water waste are two of the primary reasons this industry is so detrimental to the climate. It is important to know that some foods are much worse than others. Below is a list of the four foods that are considered to have the worst impact on our environment. By simply cutting out these foods, your carbon footprint will drastically decrease.

1. Beef
Red meat in particular has the most negative effects on the environment. Around 42 percent of all emissions come from livestock. Cows are the worst in terms of these emissions and overall impact. Beef cattle need 11 times more water and 28 times more land than other types of animals such as pigs, poultry, or dairy cattle. All of these animals emit greenhouse gases through their digestion processes.

2. Avocados
In recent years, avocados have been raved about for their health benefits. Though they are great for our bodies, they hurt the environment. One of the main reasons for this is emissions. Between growing and transporting avocados, 846.37 grams of carbon dioxide are emitted per two average-sized avocados. Avocados are also a main cause of mass deforestation. Avocados require a very particular climate to grow. Because of this, places like Mexico, which have this type of climate, are being forced to cut down many woodland areas to provide land to grow avocados to meet the ever-growing demand.

3. Almonds
California produces about 80 percent of the world’s almonds. While this is great for its economy, it is detrimental to its water supply. California has already been facing a drought, and almond production is a main contributor. It takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow one almond. Multiply this by the millions of almonds Americans eat every day, coupled with the number of almonds it takes to produce almond milk, and one can see how this product has a negative impact on the environment.

4. Greek Yogurt
America has developed a new love for Greek yogurt. This has boosted demand and made it a $2 million a year industry. This boost has had many negative impacts on the planet. Producing Greek yogurt is an incredibly harmful process to the environment. In order to make one ounce of Greek yogurt, three to four ounces of milk are needed. Once the curdling occurs, the excess milk becomes extremely acidic — so acidic, in fact, it is considered a toxic liquid. This is a problem because companies often do not dispose of toxic waste responsibly. In fact, in 2014 alone 150 million gallons of this toxic milk ended up in our waterways. This is incredibly dangerous for our health and the health of our ecosystem.

By: Haley Hayes | Guest Writer


Aries: You’ve found a new lover, and their name is, “copious amounts of stress food.”

Taurus: This is not the week to put others before yourself, even if you have a friend from that one Vine who gets salty and goes, “I thought you were bae. Turns out you’re just fam.”

Gemini: My dudes, things might be a little stressful right now, but it’s not the end of the world. Put on some sunscreen and slip on some shades so you don’t get burned out.

Cancer: You’ve got a problem if you’re in a group project and no one wants to communicate. Break the ice with memes.

Leo: Keep the family/longtime friend bonds tight, regardless of whether or not you caught up with them recently. The nostalgia feels are worth it.

Virgo: Consider setting some resources aside to plan little surprise gifts for friends around Thanksgiving—even if they’re just avocadoes. That one Vine kid liked it, after all.

Libra: You might be a little broke post-fall break, but don’t freak out. Befriend a squirrel that’s trying to bury food for the winter — it might donate an acorn to you out of pity.

Scorpio: Philosophy’s a thing you either love or hate, but try and embrace it. What’s the deeper meaning behind your professor saying, “you’re failing my class”? Well, probably exactly that.

Sagittarius: Keep your study circles small this week. Or party circles. Or whatever you call your “the group I go to before midterms for panicking” group.

Capricorn: You know you’ve got great synergy with friends when you sign each other in on attendance sheets during class days where one of you can’t make it. That’s key this week.

Aquarius: Looking at scholarship, job, internship, or other applications? No matter how out of your reach they may look, give it a shot this week. You just might surprise yourself!

Pisces: You’re going to get into a really productive studying groove to the point where people beg for your secrets. Be as mystical as possible in your response.

This post was assembled by Features Editor Soondos Mulla-Ossman.