Opinion: We need to think about the impact our food choices have on the environment

By Saskia

I was recently reading a newspaper article about different types of lunches I could have at school (because I’m a fussy eater) and I came across an idea. There are all these foods that are being advertised, but really if we look behind them, what kinds of ingredients are being put into them? And what do they do for the environment?

Here are three ingredients that are bad for the environment. 

First up, sugar. Sugar is one of the worst foods for the environment, not just our bodies. Since we are so into the flavour, farmers have been sacrificing other crops, to create more space for sugar cane.

Inside the sugar industry, there is a whole new issue. For the process of making sugar, an invention called a ‘bassage’ is used. A bassage is made to power boilers while creating the sugar for us. 

Then there is Palm Oil. Palm Oil is a relatively common ingredient in foods we eat today. It is bad because it destroys the environment where natural habitats would be. Palm oil is the most used oil in the food industry.

 Nutella is a great example. Nutella used to be one of the worst foods because it contained so much palm oil. But in January 2015, a lot of people around the world found out how much palm oil was actually being put into Nutella. This created much doubt about other foods and became a great issue to Nutella’s parent company, Ferrero. So, from then on, they have been much more responsible, by using sustainable palm oil.

You’re not going to like this, but chocolate is also bad for the environment.

Cacao beans are the ingredient that creates the chocolate we have today. They are extremely hard to sustain, because they demand so much water, that it is hard to control.

I’m not finished. The chocolate we taste is very different to the original type. When the original people found out about chocolate, it was a bitter drink and did not contain sugar. Nowadays, we have added so much sugar it would not be recognisable. 

This article may sound downcast and pessimistic, but really I’m just trying to make you think about what we eat every day. There are some foods like mushrooms and seaweed, that are easy to maintain and help to have a healthy environment.

So I’d like to remind you that it’s not over yet. Because although it may look like it is past fixing, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Kegworth Times is written and produced by primary school students at Kegworth Public School. Please support us by following us on Facebook and Instagram. 

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