BBC Earth (Asia) - - Science -


The huge quan­ti­ties of sugar pro­duced around the world have a sig­nif­i­cant en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact. Sugar cane is one of the world’s thirsti­est crops, and the con­ver­sion of sen­si­tive habi­tats like Viet­nam’s Mekong Delta into sugar mono­cul­ture has se­ri­ously harmed bio­di­ver­sity.


It’s pos­si­ble to pur­chase ‘eth­i­cal’ tuna, but it’s dif­fi­cult to nav­i­gate the var­i­ous species and fish­ing meth­ods in or­der to en­sure it is sus­tain­ably sourced. Skip­jack is good, bluefin is bad. Pole-and-line is good, long line is bad. Your best bet is prob­a­bly to stick to safer op­tions if you fancy some fish.


Since av­o­ca­dos have be­come syn­ony­mous with a hip, healthy life­style, it’s easy to for­get that they are no friend to the planet. It takes around 272 litres of wa­ter to pro­duce two or three av­o­ca­dos, and many of them are be­ing grown in the drought­stricken farms of Cal­i­for­nia.


Linked with ev­ery­thing from ground­wa­ter con­tam­i­na­tion to de­for­esta­tion of the Ama­zon rain­for­est, soy is high up in the rank­ings of worst foods for the en­vi­ron­ment. But it’s not the ve­gan munch­ing on a soy burger who should feel bad – around 75 per cent of all soy is fed to live­stock.


While there are is­sues with farmed meat in gen­eral, beef is in a league of its own. One study es­ti­mated that beef re­quires 28 times as much land as the same amount of poul­try and pork, as well as 11 times as much wa­ter and it pro­duces five times as much green­house gases.

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