Junk food, a threat to the environment

Munching on chips or snacks while in front of the TV, while reading the newspaper or playing on the PC has become an all too widespread habit. To pay the costs is the human health but also that of the environment.

At one time fast food was an American standard only, with progress things are changing and Italians can "boast" high levels of obesity, especially in the southern areas. The so-called "junk food”Is widely used among people of all ages. Junk food has enormous negative effects on our health, it consists of fats and sugars transformed to take on a palatable taste and appearance but with harmful consequences also for the environment. Listed below are some of the environmental damage caused by junk food:

–Energy expenditure. Currently, most of the energy needs are met using non-renewable sources and this is also the case for the food industry. Food production involves large amounts of energy, with just as many CO2 emissions. Research shows that it can cut 50% of energy consumption with the adoption of traditional agricultural methods and the spread of a healthier nutritional culture. The energy required for the production of "junk food”Is much higher than that required by the less elaborate production of healthier products. If the Italians reduced their consumption of junk food, they would weigh less on the consumption of fuels and would do a great favor to physical health.

–Production of waste. The so-called "packaging"Is a must for junk foods, plasticized cartons, canned goods, bags, plastics, aluminum ... these are all necessary materials to contain the junk food. One kg of cherries from the fruit shop can be delivered in a cloth bag carried by the same consumer. Junk food has no savings measures and every year, millions of tons of waste they come only from the packaging of the junk food consumed. The waste problem is pressing, especially in a country like Italy where separate collection is still struggling to establish itself in many places.

- Potato chips and candies? A demon for the environment. If chips and candies can satisfy our palate, they damnly swell our buttocks, and our abdomen, but even more they damage the environment! We know that reducing meat consumption could significantly lower ours carbon footprint but more recent studies have shown that reducing junk food consumption could have similar effects. A study conducted by Swedish researchers has highlighted how some candies can be harmful to theenvironment as much as pork. French fries are no exception: around 2.2 kilograms of greenhouse gases are released to produce one kilo of fries.

In short, eating healthy is a business for everyone. It is good for local economies, especially when zero km and locally grown products are preferred, it is good for our health, it makes us more beautiful and moreover it makes us Respect the enviroment, which, on the other hand, is the place where we live!

edited by Anna De Simone