Are you dragging in dirt with your footprint?

The Environmental Working Group, ( offers a “Meat Eaters Guide,” which looks at the environmental impact of 20 conventionally-grown protein sources, including beans, dairy, produce, meat and poultry. The rankings evaluate the carbon impact of the food’s full “lifecycle” - including water and fertilizer used to grow crops, transportation and even the amount of food that’s wasted.

The top five best protein choices are:

1.     Lentils – eat these often, they deliver fiber and nutrients.

2.     Tomatoes – helps ward off disease, and are low in fat and calories.

3.     Milk – organic or milk from grass fed cows is best.

4.     Beans – opt for dry beans for the lowest carbon footprint.

5.     Tofu – good plant protein, but watch out for genetically modified soybeans.

The bottom five worst protein choices are:

    16. Salmon – eat occasionally, choose wild salmon over farmed whenever possible.

    17. Pork – eat less; skip processed pork (like bacon).

    18. Cheese – opt for low-fat cottage cheese.

    19. Beef – avoid processed beef (sausage) because of the bigger carbon footprint.

    20. Lamb – worst for carbon footprint.