People are shifting to more sustainable lifestyles and are becoming more concerned about their carbon footprints. Some have made efforts to avoid one-time use materials, others choose environment-friendly products, and many use their cars less often. While all of these efforts lead to a green lifestyle, there is an aspect of life that creates the greatest environmental impact: food choices.
Most people don’t care about how food ends up on their plates but being conscious about our food choices will positively impact our bodies and the environment. In other words, shifting to a green eating lifestyle will give way towards a greener future. If you are planning to switch to green eating, here are several steps towards achieving this goal.
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1.Create a primarily plant-based diet
Most diets are mainly based on animal products, and raising livestock calls for higher consumption of of water and higher release of greenhouse gases, which takes its toll on Mother Earth. Eating plant-based food is one way to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, minimize dependence on non-renewable sources of energy, and do your part in creating a healthier planet for the future.
This doesn’t mean you have to turn vegetarian or vegan to practice green eating. What it means is that your meals should focus more on plants and vegetables and should include meat less often. Instead of snacking on junk food like burgers and chicken wings, consider healthy snacks using this snack delivery service online.
Choosing local means you get fresh produce from the nearest farmer’s market. This way, you reduce the distance that the food travels to reach your plate, minimizing the greenhouse gases needed to feed you. Fruits and vegetables that are locally grown are picked at the peak of their quality, so they retain more nutrition when they reach you.
By supporting local farmers, you are helping them keep their business. Locally produced food also requires shorter commutes and less fuel emissions, and supports more local biodiversity and wildlife.
3.Eat in season
For the same reasons to patronize your local farmers’ products, choosing products that are in season is also green. Avoid foods that are not in season because of the high possibility that they are imported and flown in from other countries.
As a general rule of thumb, the hardier the plant, the less sun it needs, meaning that it is probably harvested in spring and winter such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and lettuce. Corn and strawberries can be associated with summer while squash and pumpkin are harvested in autumn.
If you can’t find anything in season for your meal, buy domestically grown produce at least.
4.Use preserving practices to extend the life of foods
Eating green also means using preserving methods that allow people to enjoy foods beyond their prime. Canning, pickling, freezing, and drying food is preserving them at their peak so you can eat them at any time of the year. These great kitchen storage ideas will give you a hand at storing your preserves throughout the year. Preserving also saves money!
5.Choose fish wisely
With what is happening in the oceans, it’s clear that fish are in trouble. But since fish is one of the healthiest foods you can have, it’s important to know which ones to choose without guilt.
If you are after omega-3 rich fish, look for Pacific halibut, wild salmon and sardines. For farmed fish, you can confidently choose tilapia because of its vegetarian diet and striped bass because they can be raised in tanks, which has less pollution impact.
6.Reduce kitchen and food waste
Eating green is not limited to making quality food choices but is also about being mindful with food purchases and reducing kitchen and food waste. Food waste at home comprises the most substantial part of loss in the food system, and this includes the rotten fruits or veggies and leftovers you decide to throw away.
The best way to reduce food waste is by meal planning. You will buy less and use more of what you purchase when you shop and cook based on a meal plan.
It would be great if people recognize that food gives more than just nutrition. People who are trying to “eat right” tend to be strict and not too happy. However, if you try to loosen up and go beyond the nourishment that food provides, you’ll see that food also brings joy, it brings people together, it helps support communities, and it is one thing people have in common.
Food provides a common ground among people and by eating green and implementing a sustainable lifestyle, you are protecting the earth for the next generations to enjoy. Hopefully, this article has made you realize that your choices – even the food you eat – can make a huge impact.
What are your favorite tips for eating greener?
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