What is environmental nutrition?
Environmental nutrition examines the interrelationships between our food choices, our environment, and our health. The conventional food system threatens our health and overall well-being with increased air and water pollution, toxic chemical exposure, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, soil erosion, climate change inducing greenhouse gas emissions, and loss of biodiversity. These disruptions in environmental integrity can affect human health and nutritional status.
Environmental contamination from industrial and agricultural chemicals such as heavy metals, organochlorines, and radionuclides may compromise people’s nutritional status and health either directly or through changes in diet. Herbicides and pesticides eliminate uncultivated food sources from agroecosystems; other chemicals may make them unfit for consumption. Persistent organic pollutants (POPS) transported in the atmosphere can have adverse effects on traditional food systems far removed from major sites of pesticide use.
The EPA states that 25 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were produced by industrial facilities in 2014 alone. See what toxic chemicals have been released in your neighborhood with this interactive map.