Each of us contributes to the impact that our food system has on the planet. We can all commit to making the world a healthier place to live, through small but achievable changes to our diet.
1. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are good for our health, and most come with a low environmental impact. There are exceptions, as some require a lot of resources to transport and keep fresh, so eating these less frequently can increase the sustainability of our diets. Examples include:
- fruits and vegetables that are fragile, or require refrigeration (salads and berries)
- vegetables that are grown in protected conditions (such as hot-house tomatoes or cucumbers)
- foods that use a lot of resources during transport (green beans, mange-touts, or berries imported from the southern hemisphere).
2. Eat locally, when in season
Locally-grown foods can be a sustainable choice if we choose those that are in a season where we live. The cost of producing or storing local foods beyond their natural growing seasons could be higher than shipping foods that are in season somewhere else.
3. Avoid eating more than needed, especially treats
Don't eat too much. It helps to keep us healthy and avoid excessive weight gain. Limiting snacking on energy-dense low-nutrient foods and paying attention to portion sizes are all useful ways to avoid unnecessary overconsumption.
4. Swap animal proteins for plant-based ones
In general, more resources are needed to produce animal-based proteins (especially beef), compared to plant-based proteins (such as beans, pulses, and some grains). Eating a more plant-based diet also brings health benefits: plant-based food provides more fiber and has a lower saturated fat content, both of which can contribute to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- For meat-eaters, limiting meat consumption to 1-2 times a week, having meat-free days, and choosing more sustainable meats like chicken over beef can help us reduce our ecological footprint.
- For those choosing a vegan/vegetarian diet, combining different sources of plant-based protein will ensure our protein needs are met.
5. Choose whole grains
Non-refined cereals are generally less resource-intensive to produce than refined ones as they require fewer processing steps. They are also good for health, reducing our risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and overweight.
- Wholemeal bread, whole grain pasta, unrefined barley, buckwheat, and quinoa, are great choices.
- Brown rice is a good substitute for white rice, but it should be enjoyed in moderation, as a lot of water is used during its production.
Content created and supplied by: Validnews (via Opera News )