(UK) One burger, hold the carbon
- Fast food is bad for us - and even worse for the planet. While chains are
trying to make their meals ethical, they could do more, argues Sophie Morris
Making your diet greener at home isn't difficult. Earnest eco wonks may try
to flummox you with talk of food miles, intensive farming and embedded
carbon, but basically, as long as you balance your purchases across produce
that is seasonal, local or organic, you're making the right moves. If you
really want those green beans from Kenya in the bleakest moments of
midwinter, don't beat yourself up about it - you're supporting an important
cog in Kenya's economy.
... And if you eat meat, doing the right thing by the environment is harder
still. The truth is, giving up meat is the single most effective way you can
reduce the impact your lifestyle has on the planet, hence all the chat about
meat-free Mondays. Meat production contributes more emissions to the
dizzying global tally than transport. The answer is to cut back, or simply
cut it out.
Otarian, a carbon-conscious vegetarian fast-food chain, hopes it can nudge
consumers towards environmentally sound meal choices, avoiding the lentil
and mung bean route. It launched in New York in April and will open two
branches in London this summer, with more planned. Its premise is simple:
cutting back on meat fights carbon emissions, deforestation, water
pollution, land degradation, unfair trade and obesity.