MNN Galleries

12 foods that are bad for the planet

April 25, 2011, 12:40 p.m.
frozen food section of grocery store

Photo: Mel Evans/AP

8 of 14

Packaged and processed food

The majority of the food you’ll find in the grocery store is processed and packaged, which is bad news for the planet. Processed food contains multiple chemicals and often involves energy-intensive production processes. Plus, all that packaging typically ends up in a landfill, where plastic poisons the environment and can take thousands of years to break down. In fact, in 2006 the U.S. generated 14 million tons of plastic through packages and containers alone, according to the EPA. Unfortunately, even those eco-friendly packaged items made from cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. The solution? Buy local, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and buy foods like rice, oats and pasta from the bulk bins.