Here are a few tips on how to reduce your impact on our planet 3-5 times a day just by stuffing your face with deliciousness.
1. Buy Organic. Organic food is higher in nutrients, free of neurotoxins, free of pesticides, hasn’t been gas ripened, supports biodiversity and generally just tastes better. If you can’t afford to do a full organic shop start with what you can afford and make sure to always wash non-organic food in a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar to remove the majority of the pesticides.
2. Buy Local. Reduce your food miles.Food miles refer to the number of miles between the farm your food came from and the place you bought it. For example if you bought a delicious mango from your local supermarket that has come from Mexico that’s roughly 5551 miles as the crow flies! Find your local farmers market and see what you can buy that is close to home.
3. Cut out processed and packaged foods. I’m not saying that you need to cut out all junk food and never have chocolate again – but think about all the unnecessary packaging that just goes to landfill every time you buy a multi pack bag of crisps from your local Tesco. Bake your own treats! Home cooked meals are generally healthier, encourage mindful eating and most importantly you know what you are putting in to your body.
4. Say no to tuna! I know what you’re thinking “but Jess – tuna is delicious and comes in very convenient easy open cans”. This may be true – however it’s also true that tuna is being hugely over fished which is devastating for the marine life. Also it’s full of heavy metals such as mercury – there is even a possibility of heavy metal poisoning from eating too much tuna. Also dolphins.
5. Learn to cook. I hinted at this one before. I have been really surprised to discover over the past few years that there are so many young adults who have no idea how to cook. Cooking connects us with our food. We appreciate it – we learn to love the process and want to know more about the food we are preparing.
6. Eat seasonally – your body best assimilates food that is seasonal and local to where you live. Get back to the ol’ farmers market and then get in the kitchen.
7. Grow yer own! Grow something. Anything. I live in a little flat with a little garden in London and I have five edible plants growing in my little temporary space. Five! It was lovely harvesting the elderflower a few weeks back – or making myself a nice fresh mint tea straight from the garden. Growing your own also helps attract bees to your garden and bees are our friends.
8. Be prepared. Cut out the convenience foods. It’s not often you’ll find me in a food free environment. I usually always have a piece of fruit on my person. I get hungry. I’d rather eat fruit that some highly processed food like substance.
9. Get involved with meat free Monday. The meat industry alone contributes one-fifth of man made greenhouse gas emissions. Reduce the amount of meat you eat – take a day off and enjoy the benefits of eating vegetarian for a day. You’ll find your tummy will thank you for it too. Don’t believe the lies about protein. It’s impossible to be vegetarian and be protein deficient without also being calorie deficient. #JustSaying
10. Forage – hooray for the free food movement. Look up local foraging groups or maps online and see what you can get for free from mother nature!
Vote with your food dollars! Every dollar you spend on local, organic food is one less dollar spent on the industrialised food system. We all have the power to change the way the world eats – one meal at a time!