Editor's note: John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion and creator of CNN's Change the List project. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
Before we jump into a debate about the environmental costs of eating meat, here are three things you should know:
1. I've experimented with vegetarianism twice, but it's never really stuck. Round one ended when I had a dream about a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's, and then woke up to march zombie-style to that fast-food restaurant to order it. Round two may or may not have ended with the brunch I had Sunday, I'm still not sure.
2. I ate chicken chilaquiles for brunch on Sunday. It was delicious.
Therefore, 3. This is not an anti-meat polemic.
April 22 is Earth Day, and there's no better way to start celebrating and protecting the planet than by taking a closer look at what's on your plate.
You could also consider joining a CSA (that's community supported agriculture), buying direct at a farmers market, staying as local as possible, keeping a close eye on the origins of your seafood or supporting chefs who are doing the right things for the environment.
Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Emilie Dayan, writes a weekly SFA blog series called "Sustainable South" about food and the environment, nutrition, food access, food justice, agricultural issues and food politics.
Since 2000, Joe Nelson Icet has been advancing on Houston’s Northeastern front. He calls himself a guerrilla gardener. As founder and director of the Last Organic Outpost, he takes abandoned lots littered with trash and turns them into fertile land. Planted off of Emile Street, Icet engages the community in urban farming, his biggest plot in the industrial ruins of the old Comet Rice Mill. In doing so, land in Houston’s Fifth Ward is revitalized through farming.
The mission is simple:
While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
In 1970, a generation that perfected protesting turned their attention to something closer to home – Mother Earth. Since then, the popularity of Earth Day - and the environmental movement that goes along with it - has led to the development of the Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA), as well as the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and the Endangered Species Acts.
So, in the spirit of things, here are a few simple ways you can do your part to reduce your food footprint: