A Simple Guide to Sustainable Eating

Posted by in Tip of the week, What if...?

Many people are becoming more informed about how their food choices affect the global agricultural and social environment. Savvy consumers are looking beyond their supermarket shelves and exploring local, sustainable food options. Here are 5 tips to help you develop sustainable eating habits.

1. Prioritize plants

Experts suggest filling half your plate with vegetables and fruits as part of an optimal diet. Prioritizing produce benefits the planet as well your nutrition. Shifting to a more plant-based way of eating will help reduce freshwater depletion and deforestation —a victory for both your health and the environment.

2. Minimize meat

Most of already know we should reduce red meat consumption for our health, but the environmental dangers are just as serious. Meat production is a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, particularly with beef production. Raising and transporting livestock has even more environmental repercussions, as it requires more food, water, land and energy than plants. For our own health, as well as that of the planet, we should consider picking non-meat proteins such as nuts and legumes.

3. Select new seafood

Fish can be a healthy choice if part of a balanced diet, but many species are being overfished, or produced in ways that harm the marine environment. Find out if the fish varieties you eat are on the environmental watch list and consider trying some more sustainable seafood choices.

4. Look local

There’s no shortage of farmers markets to explore where you can find fresh produce grown locally. You can also meet the people who grow your food. Such relationships are opportunities for education and foster a mindful approach to sustainable eating. You can learn how your food was grown, when it was harvested, and tips for how to prepare it.

5. Eat mindfully

One of the simplest things you can do to eat more sustainably is to practice mindful eating. By focusing on what you’re eating, you reflect on where your food came from and how it is nourishing your body. As you eat, consider the journey your food went through from seed to your plate. Additionally, by tuning in to your hunger signals you may learn that you don’t need as much food as you thought, and resize your meals accordingly.

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