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August 27, 2019

Conflict Foods: What we’re eating may not actually be Ethical.

 

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There’s so much talk about how our diets can save the planet.

I agree that lowering our consumption of animal products can drastically benefit the environment, but did you know that some of the foods we might reach for while eating plant-based could have a dark story too?⁠

Cashews:
Often grown in East Asia and processed in dire conditions, the cashew nut liquid can inflict vicious burns and lesions on the workers who shell them by hand.⁠

Avocados:
Farmers are thinning out huge pine forests in order to plant. Deforestation is particularly concentrated in Michoacán, home to the wintering grounds of the monarch butterfly.⁠

Coffee:
A far larger share of the world’s coffee is being grown in direct sunlight, rather than under the shade of a canopy of trees. These full-sun coffee farms are said to be much like large plots of monoculture.⁠

Quinoa:
Quinoa consumption can have detrimental effects in the fields in Peru and Bolivia where the grain is farmed. The hike in prices has pushed the very people that farm quinoa out of their own market place.⁠

Soy:
Ecosystems throughout Latin America are suffering from extreme deforestation to grow soybeans. The Amazon, the Gran Chaco, and the Atlantic Forests are all victims—almost four million hectares of forests are destroyed every year. These legumes are mostly used as animal feed for livestock.⁠

Did you know that any of these foods were unethical or unsustainable?⁠ Do you know of more that we should add to the list? ⁠

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Sources:

The Telegraph, “‘Blood cashews’: the toxic truth about your favourite nut.”

The Telegraph, Why your avocado toast could be destroying Mexican forests.”

One Green Planet, “Can You Still Eat Quinoa Without Feeling Like a Terrible Person Who’s Destroying the Planet?

The Telegraph,British meat and dairy is destroying rainforests.”

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