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FGCU launches free workshops to foster equity, retain workers; Supreme Court throws out race claim in SC redistricting case in win for GOP; as millions hit the roads, MI lawmakers consider extra driving fees; CT groups prepare for World Fish Migration Day.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Study: Grocery Store Choices Can Impact Climate Change

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Monday, July 23, 2018   

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Researchers say they've tapped the most comprehensive estimate of greenhouse gas emissions created by U.S. consumer food purchases, and those emissions are on par with other major contributors to climate change.

Rebecca Boehm, lead author of the report from the University of Connecticut, says consumers are in a position to make a big impact each time they go to a restaurant or grocery store.

"The easiest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from your diet or your food purchases is to purchase less red meat and animal products,” she points out. “They are more carbon intensive to produce. Plant based diets generate lower greenhouse gas emissions."

Researchers found that the life cycle of food purchases – from growing and harvesting crops to marketing, packaging and transportation – created 16 percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions in 2013.

By comparison, commercial and residential activity accounted for 12 percent, with industrial activities adding 21 percent.

The single largest contributor of CO2 continues to be coal fired power plants.

Boehm says helping reduce climate pollution doesn't have to mean giving up meat altogether. Poultry and seafood have a lower carbon footprint, and Boehm says opting more often for plant-based proteins such as beans and lentils can make a difference.

She notes that because people make decisions about what to eat three times a day, those choices can really add up.

"You know there are plenty of alternatives to the most carbon intensive foods,” she states. “There's also potential health benefits to making those changes. So, it's sort of a win-win for consumers."

Buying fruits and vegetables from local farmers also can help cut emissions created by transporting goods in refrigerated containers cross-country or across oceans.

And while individuals alone can't re-shape the nation's food industry, Boehm says they can help support grocery stores and food vendors working to cut their own carbon footprint.


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