When the subject of nutrition is discussed, it is often done in terms of the health benefits available to the individual through an improved dietary focus. It is certainly evident that improved nutrition through better dietary habits yields tremendous health benefits for the individual, and healthy eating practices are certainly worth pursuing for this reason alone. This argument neglects the larger impact generated by focusing on the nutritional benefits of food, particularly when the demands of mass production are considered, not to mention the issues associated with highly processed foods.
This is why it is so important to conduct a review of the link between dietary nutrition and environmental responsibility, as the rationale behind an improved diet is rarely viewed through this lens. When someone says organically produced food is healthier, it is often the case that they are referring to health in the most expansive sense possible rather than just to the positive impact on the individual. This is because organic production methods avoid using chemical fertilizers and pesticides that degrade the soil for future use, which causes a domino effect in which more and more land must be cleared for continued mass food production.
There is also the issue of degradation to the water quality due to the increased presence of these chemicals, which have a penchant for leeching into local water supplies when overused. Not only that, but the environment is also adversely affected by massive agricultural operations requiring the use of processing systems and machinery that emit carbon at a rate beyond what is considered sustainable. As more and more people commit to a healthier lifestyle through improved nutrition, the positive impact on the environment is a factor worth considering.