You can make a small change today to start a more sustainable and meaningful lifestyle, and it’s as simple as eating more eco-friendly foods. Here’s a quick yum guide to getting you started!
Eco-friendly living is very straightforward. You do not need to abolish all your favorite items, food, or habits for the betterment of the environment. You just have to make calculated changes that will not have such an adverse effect on the environment and your health. Changes like what you eat, the big juicy burgers, and the fresh hot fries you eat may not sound so delicious when you find out what adverse effects they have on the environment.
Climate change and food are very much related. The food industry requires a very large amount of energy to grow, distribute, store, and serve the food. This leads to a lot of greenhouse gases and the depletion of many natural resources, as well as the polluting of our water sources.
I am here to guide you on how to be eco-friendly by changing your diet and eating more healthy and green food. In this article, we will mainly focus on how you can make your diet eco-friendlier.
How you can change to more eco-friendly foods
There is no shame in having an eco-friendly diet, mother nature is our friend, and it is up to us to take care of her and preserve the environment.
Fruits and Vegetables
You may hear people say: buy local food, it’s better. Well, they are right; buying fruits and vegetables made in your country cuts down on the food miles. The smallest of the fruits like berries that we import may have the largest carbon footprint. Many allergy specialists recommend that you buy local extracted honey because the bees that live in your area contain the immune-stimulating compounds that help in adapting to the conditions of the environment. The same goes for fruits and vegetables.
Lentils are what experts call humble superfoods. They are from the legume family and are excellent sources of protein, fiber, and various other nutrients. Lentils have a very little carbon footprint, and they require a minimal amount of water to grow. They are cheap, and most importantly, they do not soak up all the nutrients in the soil and clean and fortify it.
2. Garden Peas
Peas can be an eco-friendly alternative to soya beans. Peas fix the nitrogen in the soil while growing. This is nature’s way of balancing the nutrients in the soil. Farmers usually add fertilizers that mostly pollute the water system and bring impurities in the crop. Garden peas are an excellent source of bone-building manganese and vitamin K. they provide nutrients that are important for heart health
A locally grown crop of tomatoes in the summer will have a very low carbon footprint and taste much better than those that shopkeepers sell at markets. Tomatoes have deep roots that they use to extract nutrients from deep under the soil, eliminating the need for water in the summers. Tomatoes are an outstanding source of vitamin C and reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancer.
Nuts are another example of a low carbon protein source. If you eat four ounces of nuts, that equals to carbon emissions of driving over half a mile. Any type of processing mixed with nuts contributes to the carbon footprint; keep that in mind. So, avoid products like peanut butter. Nuts are full of nutrients like vitamins and minerals, protein, fiber, vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium.
5. Organic foods
The best thing about growing organic food is that they do not require any sort of pesticide or fertilizer. Conventional farming sure does require a lot of energy. It also releases a large amount of greenhouse gas that promotes air pollution and global warming. Organic farming can minimize environmental impact by using methods like compost, biological pest control (much safer than chemical), and crop rotation. Crop rotation gives the soil to heal up and gain its richness back. The use of biological pests does not pollute the whole water system and poison the crop. Organic farming is a controlled type of farming where we get to decide what type of fruit grows and what specific variety.
6. Seasonal Food
Buy food that is in season in your region—for example, buying fruits that the farmers in the local area grow. This promotes business and saves the environment. You will notice a significant change in taste when eating locally grown fruits and vegetables. They are fresh and free of any genetic modification. They have not been through the travel of a thousand miles just to sit in shops for a week or so until you buy them.
7. Grass-fed Beef
Grass-fed beef means the cattle and animals that cattle herders feed in fields and plains instead of feedlots, where they feed them grains and antibiotics. When a cow eats too many grains, it leads to tainted meat and mass health scares. Factory farms (most of the meat comes from here) feed their livestock grain because the government provides subsidies to the farms that produce grain like corn. The proteins in the grains may provide the animals with fat, and they get big, but they contain most of the bad fat, the fat we should not be eating as it results in numerous health problems. Now, why is grass-fed meat good?
When the cattle wander the pastures and feed on grass, they’re eating what mother nature provides them with, i.e., pure-rich-nutrients. Now, when farms feed the livestock themselves, they grow grains using pesticides and fertilizers, so it’s poisonous to the livestock.
So, head on over to a local butcher and ask for meat from grass-fed animals. You will surely notice the difference in the raw meat color and when you eat it.
8. Sustainable Seafood
Health experts advise us to eat fish as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This will keep our heart healthy and greatly decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Salmon is a very common source of omega-3 oils. If you want to be eco-friendly but you still want to enjoy seafood, here is how. You should start by paying attention when you buy salmon. If on the label it says sustainable, then that means catching this fish did not put a dent in the population of salmon in the fish habitat.
Buying fish from fish farms is not a good option. Thousands of these fishes are present in a small space, and the water is full of their feces, which results in the spread of disease. The water may pollute other water sources, and this may cause problems for the wild fish. The fish farms feed fish chemicals and hormones to grow faster, which is harmful to us when we eat them. So, look for fish that are from a fresh catch from the sea.
I hope this article is useful to you in some way and that it helps promote an eco-friendly lifestyle.