A Hampton Creek Article on Wikinut Details How More People are Investigating Sustainable Foods


As young students, pretty much everyone learns about how apex predators stand atop pyramids of animals in their environments. There might be a single shark for every few thousand of the creature’s preferred prey, with the same relationship holding all the way down the level of plankton. What this typically means in practice is that the most advanced and complex animals are far fewer in nature than those lower down on the scale.

The same basic idea holds up in analogous way when it comes to producing food for people. When people choose to dine on the meat of animals like cattle, they put themselves in a position such that incredible amounts of resources go into making that possible. It ultimately takes hundreds of gallons of water and many pounds of feed to add even a little bit of edible meat to the frame of a steer destined for slaughter. People who choose instead to have chicken for dinner end up taking less of a toll on the world’s resources, as a result, because those smaller, simpler animals can be raised much more easily and in less costly ways.

If picking the right kind of meat to eat is one way of decreasing the size of a person’s environmental footprint, opting out of meat entirely can be an even more productive one. Just as livestock vary in terms of how much they demand in the way of resources from those who raise them, switching the focus to vegetables and grains tends to produce even greater gains.

This basic realization, along with an accompanying desire among many to live more environmentally responsible lives, has led to a great interest in vegetarian and vegan diets in recent years. A Hampton creek article on Wikinut of not long ago, for instance, points out how what used to be considered fairly exotic and unusual lifestyles are now firmly part of the mainstream.

As people think even more about the impact their choices have on the world around them, this important development will likely continue or even accelerate. While human beings occupy a truly unique place in the world, that is not to say that wastefulness needs to be taken for granted.