Shopping to save the planet is a goal of many consumers, but reality creeps in as we make our day to day shopping decisions. With the reams of data and bevy of sustainability ratings, it is hard to remember what is “good,” and “what is bad,” with the result that most of us are just confused.

WWF and the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) is trying to make these decisions easier and more lucid for supermarket shoppers in the United Kingdom by directly appealing to retailers. Soy has a huge impact on the planet: massive amounts of soy are shipped from South America, especially Brazil, which has become the “soy basket” of the globe. That demand for soy has affected the balance of nature throughout Brazil’s cerrado, the savannah-like terrain in Brazil that hosts five percent of life on earth but that sustainability experts often ignore in favor of Brazil’s august rain forests.

Now WWF is urging UK supermarkets like Tesco and Asda to use their buying power wisely, and source soy that is coming from third-party independently certified sources. The infographic below paints a clear picture of what occurs when soy and other crops are not harvested sustainably. While we often tout soy as a “health food,” the bulk of “factory farmed” soy is for animal feed, from livestock to even farmed tilapia fish.

Learn more about WWF’s efforts in the cerrado here.

Soya and the Cerrado graphic

Soya and the Cerrado graphic

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.