Sustainable eating

As described by Wikipedia, sustainable living describes “a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources, and one’s personal resources.”

The question is, how is all of this related to food?

Sustainable eating is about choosing foods that are healthful to our environment and our bodies. This plant-based eating style includes more legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts), whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, and less animal-based foods, especially red meat and processed meat. Limiting refined grains and added sugars is encouraged as well.

Here are some tips to eat more sustainably and take a small step towards saving the environment.

  1. Eat your plants : Let’s focus on vegetables, beans, and nuts. This is all about adding choice and flavor to our diets. Take inspiration from China and Malaysia, where much of the food is plant-based. Also, the Mediterranean has much variety; from delicious salads and vegetable-based stews to tagines, pasta, and rice dishes. The bottom line: plants can be full of flavor too.

  2. Eat organic food : Organic food certification requires that crops and livestock are grown and reared naturally, without artificial fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, chemical feeds, growth-promotion drugs, or routine antibiotics. As a result, organic produce is chemical-free, often higher in the nutrients and minerals our bodies require, and most importantly, it can taste better!

  3. Buy local and seasonal food : A renowned dietitian, Rujuta Divekar, always emphasizes eating local fruits and vegetables. Shopping locally is a fun way to support your community. Eating local and seasonal food supports local producers and the production of crops that are appropriate to our environment. When you purchase foods that were grown locally, it cuts down on the amount of fuel needed to ship the food to your market. #GoVocalForLocal

Seasonal food should be eaten only fresh! Foods that are off-season, shouldn’t be eaten frozen. These frozen seasonal foods come from a faraway and this thus increases the fuel needed to transport them. You can do your bit by eating fresh produce in the season itself!

  • Eat a variety of food: This is all about expanding our taste horizons. Currently, too many people rely on the same dishes and same core ingredients, for example, chicken. By having a colorful plate we will be ensuring a more nutritious, natural, flavorful, and exciting meal.

  • Waste less water : Figure out the places where you are wasting the most water. Start taking responsibility for your actions. Stop overhead shower panels and use a bucket instead. For brushing your teeth, use pot water instead, reuse the wastewater from the water purifier to mop the floor, cleaning washrooms.

  • Waste less food: When we throw away food we are throwing away natural resources and money.  Planning, prepping, and storing food can help your household waste less food. Reducing wastage of food helps to save money, conserves less energy by preventing pollution involved in the growing, manufacturing, transporting, and selling of food and supports your community by providing that food to someone in need.

  • Go for biodegradable cutlery:  Single-use plastic forks, knives, spoons, and straws are not recyclable. These bits of plastic are too small, too lightweight, and too contaminated, so they don’t ever get recycled. Maybe you think, “It’s just one fork,” but multiplied by millions upon millions, those plastic utensils are terrible for the environment.

To save yourself from this situation, go for wooden forks or spoons. Paper straws can work wonders. It is these small steps towards saving the environment!

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