As the world becomes more globalized and humans become more interconnected, the way we eat and access food has changed. Sustainable eating has to do with everything from growing and eating foods that have a lower economic impact to the way farmers and animals are treated. Here are some eco-friendly food choices, so you can eat in a way that is better for the environment.
What is Sustainable Eating?
Eating sustainably means eating foods that are grown or raised in a way that has less of an impact on the environment and on the producing communities. These foods minimize greenhouse gas emissions and use resources in a way that lessens the impact on the environment.
This doesn’t just mean growing foods that are better for the environment. It also has to do with the way animals are raised and slaughtered. It even takes how farmers are treated and paid into consideration.
General Guidelines for Sustainable Eating
How can you eat more sustainably? First, it’s important to know where your food comes from. As a rule, processed foods are less sustainable and have a bigger impact on the environment. Likewise, the most eco-friendly foods can be picked from the ground.
Eating locally is another way to eat sustainably. The less far your food has to travel to get to you, the less of a carbon footprint it has on the environment. This goes hand-in-hand with buying produce that’s in season. Fewer resources are used to grow it.
Thinking About Protein
Of course, how animals are raised and farmers are treated are things you should look into too. Some meatpacking plants don’t treat workers well. Many farms pump animals full of hormones, which then enter your body when you eat them. Look into where all your meat comes from, not just your veggies.
If the way animals are treated bothers you, you may want to look into other means to get your protein. Isolate protein is a great way to get your body the protein it needs with less of an impact on the environment. Supplementing your protein intake can significantly reduce your carbon impact as you’re meeting your nutritional goals.
Eco-Friendly Food Examples
Beans, rice, and lentils are all great examples of sustainable foods. Lentils need little water to be grown and they are a great source of protein. The same goes for beans. They’re easy to produce, require little water, and are also a good source of protein. While rice is not a good source of protein, it’s still very sustainable. It doesn’t actually take that much water to grow and it can be stored for long periods of time.
Many sustainable foods are used in mixes to create items that are healthy and less processed than other options. A gluten-free bread mix is a great example. These sorts of mixes use natural ingredients that are better for the earth and still taste great.
Fruits and Veggies
It’s relatively obvious that fruits and veggies are also on the list of eco-friendly foods. You should absolutely consider eating organic when you choose your fruits and veggies. Organic means fewer pesticides used on your foods. This means fewer toxins entering your body and fewer toxins in the soil.
Again, it’s important to highlight buying local when talking about fruits and veggies. Purchase from farmers’ markets and farm-to-table options. You’re helping support local growers and you’re likely putting something much healthier in your body.
You can also try growing your own fruits and veggies. This will give you the ultimate control over knowing what’s in your food. Nothing beats the flavor of eating a tomato picked straight off the vine or a blueberry straight from the bush. This will help you choose foods that are in season and grown in your region as well, which is important to the environment.
Whether you grow them or buy them locally, choose foods that are eco-friendly and sustainable.
Author: Finnegan Pierson