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Should You Fast to Help the Environment?


Fasting, environment

Should You Fast to Help the Environment? 

Today marks a high holiday for the Jewish faith: Yom Kippur, and many Jewish people will fast for twenty-five hours. As a Jew myself, I have fasted for the last couple of Yom Kippurs, and I am fasting on this day too. Yom Kippur is a day to apologize to God for their sins.

It doesn't matter whether or not you observe Yom Kippur; exploring the environmental impact of fasting applies to a lot of people. There are two different types of fasts we will explore. The first is a traditional fast, or not eating or drinking for a long time period (e.g. Yom Kippur), and the second is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is generally defined as fasting on and off for short periods of time. A common example of intermittent fasting is eating during an eight-hour window of the day, and fasting for the remaining sixteen hours.

Apart from religious reasons, people tend to fast for health reasons. People who fast tend to eat less than those who don't, which is pretty obvious now that I think about it. Food requires a lot of energy to manufacture, and eating less means using fewer resources. Foods, especially meat, take up space and require water to produce. For that reason, eating less means a smaller environmental impact. This is the case with both intermittent and traditional fasting because both involve eating less. 

Does EarthPlex recommend fasting? I don't feel comfortable telling people how they should eat. I believe that when it comes to diet, health is the most important factor. If your doctor recommends fasting, you might want to try it, but if you don't think that fasting is a healthy choice, you probably shouldn't. Personally, I only fast on Yom Kippur, but a lot of Jewish people who I know don't fast for health reasons, and that's just fine.

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