The irony is so delicious. A recent luncheon in town featured a talk by the head of Sustainable Princeton entitled, “Climate Concerned, But What Can I Do?.” The menu — short ribs, shrimp, scallops and key lime pie.
Beef requires 20 times more land and produces 20 times more carbon than plant-based proteins. Shrimp, the most valuable and fastest growing global seafood product, is mostly sourced from tropical farm ponds that often destroy ecologically-sensitive areas like mangroves, salt flats and tidal estuaries. And, of course, we need a sugary dessert to top off the conversation and to feed the world’s insatiable sweet tooth, since sugar farming has a very large irrigation and agro-chemical requirement, leading to further degradation of soil, air and water in areas where sugar is produced.
The climate-concerned menu at this event was anything but sustainable. One would have hoped that an organization like Sustainable Princeton would arrange for a more eco-friendly menu, for example suggesting healthy plant proteins for the main dish and berries or a fruit plate for dessert — that is — if the organization is truly trying to sell people on the fact that each individual has a role to play to save the planet.