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PB&J for a better world

Thursday, July 31, 2008

In the environmental community, there's a lot of discussion about how to best convey the message of action to the rest of the country. The general consensus is that giving people small actions that are easy to achieve but have a real impact creates a sense of success, and that encourages them to do more -- hence the ubiquitous "Switch to CFLs!"

On the food side of things, a campaign started earlier this year encourages us all to switch from animal-based lunches (like burgers or grilled cheese) to veggie-based lunches like PB&J:

If you're anything like me, right now you're going "Uh-huh, and I bet it's funded by the peanut industry. Or Smuckers." Apparently, the PB&J campaign has gotten a lot of that. The very first paragraph of their "About Us" section states:

The PB&J Campaign is an effort of private citizens concerned about the environment. We've been a little surprised and amused by speculation that the PB&J Campaign is a front for the National Peanut Board, animal rights groups, or even Smuckers. To be clear, the PB&J Campaign is not funded or coordinated by any business or advocacy organizations.

Well, that's a relief. The campaign says that switching to veggie-based lunches conserves water, reduces water pollution, saves pounds of CO2 per sandwich and more efficiently converts plants into energy. And don't worry, if you're allergic to peanuts; any veggie-based lunch will have a lower carbon footprint than a ham sandwich. Even, as they point out in this recent blog post, the Fu Wa tofu hoagie.