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It’s time for our usual question, “Is it Healthy?” to transform into “Is it Sustainable?” Sustainable Eating basically revolves around a diet of foods which have minimal harmful impact on the environment, conserves biodiversity and is nutritionally enriching. In other words, it is about selecting foods that are healthy for both our environment and our bodies.
What does Sustainable Eating encompass?
It emphasizes plant-based eating like legumes, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fruits and nuts. Sustainable Eating, per se, isn’t against meat-based diets. However, it focuses on limiting the use of animal protein as the meat industry is a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. It is highly advised to look for RSPO certified sustainable palm oil products.
How to accomplish the win-win goal of a healthy body and the planet?
- Go Shopping Locally : It helps to get fresh access to the healthier options by cutting down the transportation journey. It keeps the money circulating in your own community, fostering healthy relationships and growth of the area.
- Nurturing Nature : It’s always a good idea to grow something on your own. A small tomato plant or underground veggies in your backyard would help you to appreciate the process of making plants thrive. Moreover, reaping the fruits of your own baby plant will make you feel more grateful and content.
- Eat Seasonally : Today, we encounter that all the fruits and vegetables are omnipresent. However, it’s always better to eat seasonally available food than munching on items according to the mood.
- Talk Sustainable Food : Initiating conversations about food with the local farmers/vendors at the marketplace would help you know about what you’re eating. Even discussions with restaurant owners can enlighten you about the entire process about how food arrived at your plate.
- Update your Checklist : Purchasing optimal quantities of food, avoiding highly processed foods, turning to eco-friendly packaging are some tiny steps that can reduce the anthropogenic footprint on the environment.
- Mindful Eating : Understanding one’s hunger cues would make you estimate the actual amount of food you require than you serve on your plate. Besides the quantity, the quality is important too. The knowledge about the nutritive benefits or harmful effects about the food you consume will help you reorient your food choices.
- Reduce Food Wastage : About 30% of the food produced is wasted. According to WWF, food waste was a country that would be the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the USA. Thus, reduction in the wastage of food is an essential component of sustainable eating.
By 2050, the Earth has to feed around ten billion hungry mouths. As we become a more food-conscious society, it becomes pertinent to look beyond supermarket culture and explore how food is actually produced.