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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Overeating fattens ecological problems, too

Most people are aware that any unnecessary calories we ingest are detrimental to our health, but few consider that food consumed in excess of our real needs – and the energy, water and other resources used for its production – is of little utility, it is practically wasted.

Traditionally, food waste is the food wasted during its life from production to the consumer’s waste bin, in agriculture, the processing industry, in restaurants, and especially in households.

According to UN data, food waste
in the developed world is around 222 million tonnes per year.

In addition – based on WHO data – 1.9 billion adults and 41 million children under the age of five struggle with obesity worldwide: their caloric intake has increased by 50 percent over the last fifty years, which is damaging not only to their health.

An Italian study has put the functional disorders of modern food production in a new light, writes the Treehugger website. In order to describe the problem, the authors of the paper published in the Frontiers in Nutrition journal introduced the new concept of metabolic food waste.

According to their calculations, the ecological damage caused by overconsumption is far greater than that caused by food waste in the traditional sense; the quantity of food that is metabolised ineffectively reaches 140 gigatonnes at the global level. And that doesn’t even include the tremendous resources and energy invested in handling the health problems associated with obesity.

The study puts the massive responsibility of the modern food industry in a new light: our excessive consumption is destroying not only ourselves but our environment, as well Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: TreeHugger

50 foods that could save Earth

From cacti through algae and vitamin-rich flowers to drought-resistant root vegetables, Knorr and WWF have compiled a list of 50 nutritious foods whose consumption would be more advantageous for human health, while their cultivation would benefit our planet relative to our present dominant food sources.

Climate change on the catwalk

A number of fashion designers have reacted to climate change and its consequences with their collections shown at the Paris Fashion Week.

The five steps of saving water

Clean water is a great treasure, yet we waste a lot of it for no good reason: for instance, a dripping tap can waste up to 75 litres per day. It is our obligation to save water: it leaves more for others, and we can also save money.

How to avoid polluting the Earth with our clothing

The fashion industry is one of the most harmful for the environment: it wastes water, pollutes the air, encourages overconsumption, wastefulness and also produces massive quantities of waste. The damage caused by the monthly replacement of fast fashion collections on the shelves of fashion stores would fill a very long list. But how can we counteract it?

Sustainable materials for the fashion industry?

The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries of all: it produces microfibres and chemicals and uses huge quantities of water while making 150 billion new articles of clothing every year. The environmental load caused by the fashion industry causes inestimable damage, and the best way to counteract that is to choose clothing made of more sustainable textiles. But where are they?

New perspectives for the feast table – or what on earth is insect marketing?

Food waste is a growing problem in developed countries. Massive amounts of perfectly edible food is thrown away because of merely aesthetic blemishes. The psychological factor behind the phenomenon is disgust, which may apply in relation to edible insects, as well. That attitude ought to be reconsidered from a climate protection perspective.

Washing tips to reduce the quantity of microplastics

In recent years, a new concept related to environmental pollution has gained wide-ranging recognition: microplastics. The term denotes pieces of plastic smaller than 5 mm resulting from the break-up of plastic items. During washing, clothing made of synthetic fibres sheds many microfibres that pollute our waters and damage our environment.

Are drastic lifestyle changes required to protect the climate?

A BBC article suggests that people’s personal responsibility doesn’t stop at reducing car traffic: eating and shopping habits must also be rethought.

Pope Francis sees the solution in more simple and respectful lifestyles

Pope Francis urged people to change their lifestyles and to take concrete action instead of empty words in his message communicated on the Fifth World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, issued to young people raising their voice for the environment on 1 September.

The two rules on sustainable water future: use less, pollute less!

The population of Earth is growing drastically, while the planet has had a constant quantity of water ever since its creation. So, in addition to the sparing use of water, it is equally important not to pollute our existing stock of water.

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