Highly-processed foods require a lot of energy and resources to produce. They’re also extremely wasteful in terms of nutrients. White processed sugar, for example, is missing as much as 98% of the original nutrients found in unprocessed cane juice. Taking those nutrients out required a tremendous amount of wasted energy, and that’s why white sugar has a much larger carbon footprint than evaporated cane juice.
The same is true of breads, cereals, canned soups and other processed foods. Anything that isn’t fresh requires energy for processing and cooking. Anything that’s pasteurized, for example, has a much larger carbon footprint than the same foods RAW. That’s because pasteurization requires the foods or beverages to be heated, burning up fossil fuel energy.
RAW living plants, in this way, are the most ecologically-sensitive foods you can buy, grow or consume. (They’re also the healthiest, but that’s a different article…)
Taken from the article You Are Not Green Unless Your Food Is Green