The Impact of Your Groceries

Are you aware of the impact your shopping choices may have on the environment? Many people don’t realize the tremendous impact that agriculture and the production of food have on the environment, or that they can help lessen that impact with their purchasing decisions. Here’s a closer look at this issue.

A staggering 50% of the world’s habitable land is allocated to agriculture, accompanied by a hefty demand for 70% of the planet’s freshwater resources. Shockingly, food production alone contributes to a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, agriculture is culpable for 78% of freshwater and ocean eutrophication, which refers to the pollution of water bodies with nutrient-rich substances. Wildlife also bears the brunt of agricultural expansion, with livestock comprising over 90% of terrestrial mammal biomass, outweighing wild mammals by a significant margin of 15 to 1. This encroachment on natural habitats places around 28,000 wildlife species at risk of extinction.

Historically, much of the Earth remained wilderness, boasting diverse landscapes such as grasslands, forests, and deserts. However, the advent of agriculture over the past few centuries has led to the conversion of wild habitats into farmland. Roughly 1,000 years ago, agriculture occupied less than 5% of habitable land, but today, it claims over half of such land, leaving forests to cover the remaining portion. Notably, livestock farming requires substantially more land than crop cultivation for direct human consumption, with pastures and animal feed farms occupying over three quarters of agricultural land, despite contributing less than 20% of total human calorie consumption. Embracing a diet with fewer animal products and embracing plant-based alternatives could alleviate the strain on land resources and the environment.

The Impact of Groceries from Green Rabbit, a provider of cold chain logistics services


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