If you care about the environment, to may want to do some thinking about the food you eat. In terms of contribution to the environmental footprint, not all foods are created equal. Below are some of the worst foods for the environment, to give you an idea of things you should cut down on. Generally, foods higher up on the food chain need more energy to be produced and therefore are worse for the environment. 

All The Meat

We all love a good burger, but if you care about global warming, you may want to start eating less of the juicy delicacy. Maintaining livestock accounts for 18% of all greenhouse gases production. That's more than all forms of transport produce together! Livestock needs fuel to be transported and fuel for fertilizer or feed. There is even methane in their farts, the third worst greenhouse gas. Five of the ten worst foods for the environment, according to Business Insider, are meat, including lamb, beef, pork, turkey, and chicken. Eating meat on a daily basis is not necessary or sustainable.

ketchup, hamburger, lettuce, tomato, cheese, bun, bacon
Abby Mills


One walnut requires 4.9 gallons of water to be produced. California produces 99% of America's walnuts, and is on its fourth year of drought, which is severely affecting local wildlife. 

California Drought, Lake Oroville State Recreation Area #clouds #panorama

Ray Bouknight on Flickr

A very dried up lake in California, demonstrating that walnuts have a detrimental effect. 


Every almond you eat needed an entire gallon of water to be grown from seed to mature nut. If you eat 17 almonds, you are consuming the same amount of water needed for the average eight minute shower. Enough said.

nut, chocolate, cereal, coffee
Stephanie Lee


Another water hog. Over five gallons of water are required to make one head of broccoli.  

kale, broccoli
Emily Hu

Processed foods

It's a no-brainer. The more packaging a food comes in, the more energy was used to produce it. Think Oreos and the nice dividers they come in.


mihoda on Flickr

What You Can Do

The best foods for the environment are local and low on the food chain. Another great reason to hit up your local farmer's market!

Farmers Market in Sunnyvale

4nitsirk on Flickr

Shop local!