What are squash benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are squash pros and cons and how buying it will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers.
Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on squash benefits and side effects.
This will include squash benefits for your health and potential risks, squash water footprint and squash carbon footprint, squash sustainability, if squash is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more.
After learning if squash is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.
This post is all about squash benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.
Must-Know Squash Benefits And Side Effects
Squash health benefits may include:
- aided digestion
- eye health
- constipation prevention
- reduced PMS symptoms such as lesser mood swings and cramps, treat asthma, vision
- bone health
- boosted immunity
- colon health
- fight and prevent cancer
- heart health
- lower cholesterol
- maintain prostate health
- reduced risk of heart disease
- regulated blood pressure
- glowing complexion
- promote hair growth
- skin health
- weight loss
Squash benefits also include being…
Water footprint: low, it takes 336 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of squash / 40 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of squash
Carbon footprint: low, 0.36 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of summer squash, a car driving equivalent of 0.75 miles or 1.25 kilometers, 0.31 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of winter squash, a car driving equivalent of 0.75 miles or 1.25 kilometers
Destruction: low, squash production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.
Kills: none, squash production does not require any animals to be killed
Harms: none, squash production does not require any animals to be used
Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from squash production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat
- Harmful to wildlife and ecosystems unless organic
- Perfect for children ages 2-8.
- Available in paperback, ebook, audio formats.
- Suitable for vegan kids and vegan families (does not include farm animals, animal food products or byproducts).
- Written + Illustrated by HEALabel's Adriane Marie.
Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible
Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation
Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits
- May involve worker exploitation, laborer issues, human rights concerns
The world’s top squash exporting country is Mexico, followed by Spain, USA, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal, Canada, Morocco, South Africa and Italy.
In the United States, California leads the nation in the value of squash production followed by Florida, Georgia, and Michigan.
Yes! Squash is a good source of niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, folate and rich in minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, calcium and iron.
It is high in fiber and relatively low in carbohydrates.
squash is alkaline. squash benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.
Is squash alkaline or acidic?
Squash is alkaline once digested.
What is the pH level of squash?
Squash has a 7.5 pH level when cooked, once digested.
When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.
Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List
squash is gluten free.
Is squash gluten free?
Yes, squash is gluten free. Squash does not contain gluten. Squash is a type of vegetable, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food.
While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…
Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:
- recurring abdominal pain
- chronic diarrhea
- numbness in hands and feet
- chronic fatigue
- joint pain
- unexplained infertility
- low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.
Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List
squash is not a common food allergen. squash benefits include being safe for most.
Is squash a common food allergen? No, squash is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to squash but it is relatively rare by comparison.
A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:
- crustacean shellfish
- tree nuts
Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.
Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List
squash has a low water footprint.
Does squash have a high or low water footprint?
Squash has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.
What is the water footprint of squash?
It takes 336 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of squash / 40 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of squash.
Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!
How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?
We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.
Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
squash has a low carbon footprint.
Does squash have a high or low carbon footprint?
Squash has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.
What is the carbon footprint of squash?
It takes around 0.36 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of summer squash, a car driving equivalent of 0.75 miles or 1.25 kilometers.
Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.
When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…
- farm equipment
- animal feed production
- hothouses (greenhouses)
- food processing
- package waste and more
But that’s not all!
It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:
- shopping locally reduces transportation emissions
- food without packaging reduces waste as well as the carbon footprint
- refrigerated and frozen foods increase carbon emissions
- seasonal foods reduce carbon emissions from hothouses (greenhouses)
- growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint
Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
squash is sustainable. squash benefits include being eco friendly.
Overall, is squash eco friendly? Is squash sustainable?
Squash production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.
A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.
Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.
squash is vegan.
Is squash vegan?
Yes, squash is vegan. Squash is a vegetable and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food.
Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.
Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.
Go vegan for animals!
It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.
Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List
squash is a product that may or may not have labor issues.
Is squash a product associated with labor concerns?
At this time there have been no major concerns associated with squash production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!
It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.
Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized.
Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death!
Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation.
Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards.
We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.
Check out this list of food to buy fair trade.
This post was all about squash benefits and side effects.
Squash, winter, butternut, raw – FoodData Central – USDA
Grades of Fall and Winter Type Squash and Pumpkin
Adriane MarieSelf-proclaimed Grocery Guru, Material Maven and all around Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful and use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.
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