Planet Earth: Our Loving Home
Promoting Responsible Choice for a Healthy Planet: Laure Waridel (In French)      
Today’s Planet Earth: Our Loving Home will be presented in French, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Greetings, dedicated viewers, to this week’s episode of Planet Earth: Our Loving Home featuring Canadian eco-sociologist, author, and fair trade pioneer Laure Waridel, who works to raise awareness about consumer power and how our purchases can affect the food industry, our health and our planet.

She has long been committed to promoting responsible consumption in her home province of Quebec and beyond through public awareness campaigns and has authored or co-written several books on sustainable living including “The Other Side of the Plate,” “Buying is Voting,” and “Coffee with Pleasure.”

The HEC Business School, France and La Presse newspaper recognized the excellence of the former two titles with the Business Book Audience Award and the Communication and Society Award. In honor of her tireless efforts, Maclean’s Magazine, a prominent Canadian current affairs publication, named her one of the 25 Canadian personalities who are changing our world.

In 2005, the Honorable Thomas Mulcair, Quebec's former Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, awarded Ms. Waridel the "Circle of the Phoenix" prize, a tribute to the province's most prominent environmentalists. Past recipients include such outstanding individuals as Hubert Reeves and Frédéric Back.

Laure Waridel is currently a professor at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management in Canada and teaches courses on sustainable investments. She is also a columnist for two magazines: one produced by the University of Sherbrooke, Canada and the other being Reader's Digest. Laure Waridel emphasizes the importance of making eco-friendly and socially responsible consumer choices to help surmount the many challenges Earth now faces.

The 3N-J is a concept I developed in my book, “The Other Side of the Plate.” And 3N-J stands for “bare,” “not far,” and “natural and fair.” So, naked or bare is first of all to focus on foods that are in the least packaging possible. There’s a lot of over-packaging, and we generate a lot of waste with that. This packaging, we need to recycle it.

As you know, 40% of our trash bag is filled with compostable materials, which when composted, enrich the soil and restore the land with what it has given us through food. But send them to a landfill site, and it will have the opposite effect. In fact, it creates methane, which is a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than CO2. So it truly furthers climate change and all sorts of problems.

“Not far” means to buy local goods. Thus, favoring products that come from an area as close as possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in order to also to support the local economy. “Natural” means to try to buy the most organic possible, the least processed possible. It also includes reducing our meat consumption. Because, we know that meat requires much more energy in production. Not to mention the greenhouse gas emissions, which are also generated at each stage of production.

“Fair” is a matter of social justice. So choose small businesses. Favoring fair trade is obviously among the many things we can do. So have the 3N-J in mind when you do grocery shopping. It gives us decision-making tools. At least it gives us some guidelines which allow us to find our way a little.

The term “food mile” refers to the distance that food travels from its area of production to the grocery store. A 1997 study showed that the average food mileage in the United States was 980 miles or 1,577 kilometers. This distance then soared to 1,230 miles or 1,979 kilometers in 2004.

Our agricultural system has become increasingly dependent on fossil fuels. Our food travels from one end to the other of the planet. Often they are processed in one country and after that another step and another and so on. So, it requires a great deal of energy. It puts more pressure on the demand for oil for all these trips for food, and the mode of production too.

The fair trade movement empowers consumers and addresses inequalities in the world. Purchasing fair trade certified products ensures that small farmers in developing countries receive a fair price for their eco-friendly crops, such as coffee, tea, sugar and cocoa. In 2008, fair trade-certified sales expanded to about US$4.08 billion with a 22% annual growth rate. Now, over a million producers and workers in 58 developing nations benefit from fair trade sales.

I think that over a day we have a range of opportunities to take action. As soon as we get up, the clothes that we wear, where do they come from? How were they made? Is it possible to reduce our consumption in the beginning? By our food choices, three times a day we can take actions towards reducing the size of our environmental footprint. So what does it mean?

It means to choose primarily organic foods, local, fair and the least packed possible, reducing our meat consumption, (and) eating less processed products. So it requires changes of habits. We have the power to do it and it’s a very positive element.

You mentioned before you have written a book, “Buying is Voting.” How is the choice made by consumers comparable to the choices they make during an election campaign?

Because it is often said that money rules the world. But if money rules the world, we must ask the question, “What are we doing with our money?” We go to vote every four years but we consume daily. So, how can we try to steer the economy to ensure and reduce environmental and social impacts that are negative?

So it is to see how we can use our money to go in that direction. Often buying is voting; it could also be simply not buying. Making this choice is also a political choice. So I'm not saying that the power of consumption should replace the voting power, far from that. But it's one more way that we have as citizens to act.

After this brief message, we’ll return with more thoughts from the eco-wise Laure Waridel. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

I grew up next to a piggery. Pigs spent their life on a concrete floor with a metal fence. The mothers gave birth when they could not even turn to lick their children. They had no room even to scratch or anything.

Welcome back to Planet Earth: Our Loving Home, here on Supreme Master Television. Our program today features Canadian eco-sociologist, author and fair trade pioneer Laure Waridel. She is an advocate of responsible consumption - from the products we choose to buy to the amount of natural resources we take to sustain our lifestyles.

The severe effects of climate change coupled with humanity’s wasteful use of water, particularly through livestock raising, has led to a global shortage of this precious resource. According to a recent study, the United States has the largest “water footprint” in the world, using approximately 2.5-million liters per capita annually. By contrast, China uses less than 0.7-million liters per capita each year.

The water issue is a big issue because water is so vital. We cannot live without water and there is the problem of water contamination, but also simply the absence of water. Droughts with climate change are expected to be a growing problem. Already now there are more and more droughts in many parts of the world. The desert is advancing and it's extremely worrying.

It is not normal, for example, that there are big golf courses in deserts that pump water while people nearby do not have enough water. We think of certain tourism projects where there is water in abundance.

There is a waste of water in major hotels in very dry areas, while right next door there are families who do not have enough water to feed their children or prepare food or for very basic needs. So, there is an issue with the distribution of water resources as well. Livestock requires lots of water. There is waste at this level too.

Livestock eat 80% of the corn and 95% of the oats grown in the United States, and to produce just a half a kilogram of beef, seven kilograms of grain is required. World hunger can be easily addressed if we choose to redirect the flow of the enormous amount of food humanity produces each year.

World hunger is a problem of justice and not how much food is available. Because there's enough to feed everyone. Cereals, for example, if they go more towards human consumption than biofuels, for example. Once again, if we reduced our meat consumption, we could feed many more people, so we must see what kind of food choices we make.

Currently there are over a billion people worldwide who are hungry. That's one in seven, it’s enormous! I invite you to think about the children that you love. There are more than six-million children dying from hunger each year. This is absolutely unacceptable!

In a 2007 paper, the Dutch Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis advocated for a tax on meat in the Netherlands and projected such a tax would drop meat consumption by two-thirds in the nation. We asked Ms. Waridel about her views on taxing meat as one way to protect our biosphere.

I think that eco-taxation is a vital element in developing solutions. The eco-tax is to ensure that the price of what we pay corresponds more to the environmental costs and social costs it generates. Because at the time meat is very cheap compared to the negative impact that it generates both at the environmental and social levels. In terms of eco-taxes, meat should be more expensive compared to the others.

I absolutely believe that reducing our meat consumption has a very positive impact. I think we should discover the pleasure as we eat vegetarian meals. Even the doctors say people consume too much meat for their health. So there is the health of the planet and also our health . We all have to reduce our consumption of meat altogether.

Organic farming is of great benefit to the environment, as organic agriculture builds up the soil, thus reducing both droughts and flooding. In avoiding the use of pesticides, organic farming also helps to lessen overall water pollution and biodiversity loss.

The Rodale Institute in the United States estimates that if all the world’s approximately 14 million square kilometers of tillable farmland were to be cultivated organically, the soil could store 40% of current CO2 emissions.

There are tremendous benefits to organic farming and also the human dimension, because I believe in production which is done not only with respect for the ecosystems but also for workers, such that each and everyone can live in dignity. So there are the benefits of reduced use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

Obviously also when we speak of local agriculture, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In organic farming, most of the work being done is by hand, except for cereals, but in the vegetable cultivation system so there is less greenhouse gas emissions. Greater biodiversity too, so it has value; it has so much value that we cannot even put a number, a figure on it.

Our sincere gratitude, Laure Waridel for your dedicated efforts to help us soon attain an environmentally sustainable world. May we all make the #1 choice in responsible consumption – the organic vegan diet, which is the simplest and quickest way to stop global warming.

Books by Laure Waridel are available at or

Eco-conscious viewers, thank you for joining us on today’s Planet Earth: Our Loving Home. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment after Noteworthy News. May your days be blessed with abundant love from Heaven.

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