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Living Green: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner

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Chapter 6. Eating Green: It’s Not Just Spinach Anymore

“Eat something green every day” is age-old motherly advice. Generations of kids have heard it as they scrunched up their faces and downed a forkful of spinach or broccoli.

Today, Mom’s old advice has gotten an update: Eat everything green every day. You don’t have to become a vegetarian (although, as The Meat Industry’s Environmental Hoofprint notes, you’d reduce your carbon footprint if you did). Eating green means saying no to farming practices that harm the earth and treat animals as assembly-line products; choosing foods that aren’t drenched with synthetic insecticides, weed-killers, and other potentially harmful chemicals; and, if possible, growing your own fruits and veggies to get the freshest, healthiest food possible.

This chapter looks at current farming practices—the good, the bad, and the unappetizing—and how they affect the food you eat so you can make informed choices. You’ll also learn all kinds of tips for growing your own food—even if you’re a city dweller.

What’s in That Cheeseburger?

Some claim it’s the pinnacle of American cuisine: a ground-beef patty with a slice of melted cheese served on a bun (pickles optional). In the U.S. alone, people eat more than 13 billion cheeseburgers each year, which works out to about one or two every week for the average American carnivore.

When you stop by your favorite fast-food place and order a nice, juicy cheeseburger, what are you really getting? Here’s some info that might ...

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