The Environmental Impacts of Food Choices

Julie Sinistore

How do our food choices impact the environment?  Choosing a vegan lifestyle substantially reduces an individuals impacts on climate, water consumption, water quality and many other environmental impacts, but is that enough? What more can we do to examine and reduce our impact on the environment to ensure that all animals (human or non-human) have a sustainable home on this planet we share? Julie will examine the impacts of food choices from production through consumption and ask tough questions about if being vegan is enough to ensure the protection of endangered ecosystems.

Dr. Julie Sinistore has been a dedicated vegan for 17 years and first turned to vegetarianism 21 years ago, after reading Frances Moore Lappe’s Diet for a Small Planet.  In her current position as a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) project manager and consultant with WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, she analyzes the environmental burdens and benefits of the production, use, transportation, and disposal of goods and services from the agricultural and bio-based sectors to the electronics and construction sectors. She also teaches courses on Life Cycle Thinking and Sustainable Product Design at UC-Berkeley.  Her educational path from a BS in Natural Resource Management with a Concentration in Conservation and Applied Ecology from Rutgers University through her MS in Agroecology and PhD in Biological Systems Engineering from UW-Madison lead her to study everything from soils and climate to engineering and agriculture.  Today, she endeavors to make the world a more sustainable place through her career and life-style choices.