The way we eat can have an impact on our health, but did you know that the foods we consume, as well as our dining habits, can also affect the environment? Eating meat-based foods can take a toll on the environment, since raising animals for food requires more land and resources. Meanwhile, takeaways or having food delivered also creates a negative impact on the planet, and a study has shown that single-use containers for takeaway food represent a significant source of waste in landfills all over the world. To eat well without harming the planet, it’s important to find eco-friendly ways to make and eat your meals. Whether you’re dining out or cooking your own food, here are a few easy ways to eat sustainably.
Cut down on food waste
Food waste can become an environment problem, as it can be a potential source of methane while it rots in landfills, and methane can be a contributing factor to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that almost 64 million tons of food waste are generated every year, so in order to save the planet, it’s a good idea to practice eco-friendly eating habits by strategically planning your meals. You can order from meal delivery services that have pre-portioned ingredients to cut down on waste, and cook only as much food as you can consume. If there are any extras, freeze them, and make sure to eat them the next day, or give some to your neighbors.
Eat more whole foods
Instead of eating fastfood or pre-packaged foods, choose whole foods such as grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, dried legumes, and nuts. These foods require less packaging and processing, and are better for your health, so incorporate them into your diet whenever you can. You can stir chopped fruits and nuts into a cup of Greek yoghurt for a healthy breakfast, then for lunch, plan on making a salad out of these ingredients. Meanwhile, dinner can be soup or a hearty rice dish. Try planning your meals so you can eat whole foods everyday and reduce your impact on the environment.
Choose local foods
Buying local food not only helps you cut down on your carbon footprint, but it also funnels income into the local economy and creates more jobs within your area. Visit a farmer’s market to buy seasonal produce, or buy your coffee beans from a local coffee roaster. You can also check to see if your town has a community supported agriculture program that allows you to pay for your share of harvested produce, eggs, and dairy products.
Eat healthfully and sustainably by following these tips. Not only will it benefit your body, but you’ll also be doing your part to save the environment.