Eating with the health of the planet in mind requires just a few alterations to your normal diet. So, if you thought that it would require you starving yourself, you needn’t have worried. One way of ensuring that what you eat is having as little effect on the planet as possible is knowing where it comes from.
More specifically, a great way of improving your health while being environmentally-conscious, at the same time, would be to avoid processed foods. The most environmental-friendly foods can be picked either from a tree or from the ground. If you buy food that came from a factory, however, the odds are that it will contain a lot of hidden carbon.
Buying food locally is typically the best route to take. Local produce is fresh. It also hasn’t been transported from one part of the country to another. To be confident that you’re buying local produce, check the labelling on the products, or simply buy from a farmer’s market. Buying local, organic produce is the best way to go. The next best solution is to buy local, non-organic produce, as opposed to organic items that have been transported over long distances.
Buying in-season produce is also beneficial as there’s less of a chance that it’s endured a long journey to reach your kitchen table. Now that you have a few shopping options at your disposal, here are some tips to help you decide which particular items to buy. Here are some low-impact and delicious items that you can look forward to.
The Environmental Working Group asserts that lentils are the most eco-friendly of all proteins. If you combine the carbon emissions from the production of lentils with the post-production emissions that come from processing, transportation, and retail, the total comes to only 0.9 kg of CO2. Chicken, on the other hand, which is the lowest emitting of all animal proteins, is almost seven times that amount.
Beans are similar to lentils in that they’re a great source of vegetarian protein. By designating beans as your staple protein, as opposed to meat, it will significantly lower the impact your diet has on the environment. In total, dry beans contribute only around 2kg of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere for every 1kg consumed. Purchasing dry beans in bulk is the best way of avoiding bisphenol A (BPA) that are found in cans.
This one may surprise you but not all chocolate is the same. One Seattle-based firm, Theo Chocolate, believes that chocolate goes on a journey from bean to jar. All of its cocoa beans bought for the company are Fair For Life, Fair Trade, grown sustainably, and promotes diversity, organic, as well as having a positive effect of the farmers who grow their beans.
Needing just 55 gallons of water for every pound, oranges were rated as the most water-efficient of the fruits by TreeHugger.com. Be careful with how you source it, however. Buying oranges and squeezing them is better than buying it from a carton as you can still get your fix of vitamin C with our hidden carbon and sugar additives.