Diet & Nutrition 4 MIN READ 73 VIEWS April 22, 2022

Earth Day: Understanding the Importance of Sustainable Foods

Written By HealthKart

Earth Day

It is often said that a green future is a prosperous future. Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. For the year 2022, the main goal of Earth Day is to implement (equitably), innovate (broadly), and act (boldly). Since the theme is ‘Invest in Our Planet’, every single person inhabiting this planet should actively take action in order to preserve and protect the environment. Making food and agriculture sustainable is one such way we can help rejuvenate our planet. 

What is Sustainable Food? 

Sustainable foods are those that are reared in such a way that they have less negative impact on the environment. They even help in lowering the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. Our eating habits and the food we eat highly impacts the environment. 25% of greenhouse emission is given out by food into the atmosphere. Sustainable food on the other hand, is food that helps in not only maintaining a balanced diet but also helps in conserving the environment. 

Hence, sustainable food and sustainable eating is the right way of life. This includes food that is processed or grown in such a way that does not harm the environment. It also guarantees to not compromise on the ability to meet the growing needs of the generations to come. Shifting from processed foods to a plant-based diet has helped in reducing the negative impact of food production on the environment. It has also helped in keeping people healthy and increasing their lifespan. 

How to Eat Sustainably?

Everyone should implement sustainable forms of eating in their life. Here are a few tips that might help you adopt a sustainable way of eating:

  1. Eat Various Types of Foods 

Eating diverse forms and dishes of food is equivalent to receiving varied nutrients.

  1. Grow Food on Your Own 

This is the most sustainable form of eating as it requires zero transportation and travelling that helps in reducing gaseous emissions. The plants grown also help in absorbing excess carbon dioxide from the environment. A simple homegrown garden can help cut down grocery bills and also protect the environment

  1. Maximise Intake of Plant-Based Food

Nuts, beans, vegetables, and so much more can be included in your plant-based diet. These are not only extremely healthy but can also be used in different ways in a variety of dishes

  1. Avoid Wasting Food

Wastage of food is wastage of money and resources. In order to reduce wastage, you must get food according to your requirements only. Buying extra food products leads to wastage

List of Sustainable Foods

Here is the list of the most commonly available sustainable food that you can incorporate in your diet:

  1. Organic Vegetables: Before purchasing, the vegetables need to be selected carefully. Organically grown vegetables are the best as the least of pesticides is used on them.
  1. Organic Fruits: Just like vegetables, you need to carefully select your fruits also. Seasonal and locally grown fruits are the best choice as it would result in low carbon emission.
  1. Beans: These are the most easily available sustainable food. There are various types of beans that make it a great addition to your diet. Beans belong to the leguminous family that also includes pulses. In addition to them being a high source of vitamins and protein, it is also very sustainable to produce beans as there can be high yield with low water usage.
  1. Rice: It is one of the most sustainable foods as it is very easy to grow and does not require much water. It also provides a lot of energy and can be stored for a long period of time.
  1. Mussels: Even though mussels are a type of seafood, they can be produced sustainably. Production of mussels does not lead to destruction of corals. They are highly rich in protein and can be a great addition to one’s diet.
  1. Lentils: These are a great alternative to beans and are a part of the legume family. They can be yielded in large quantities and require very less water in the production process.
  1. Leafy Greens: Green and leafy vegetables, ranging from spinach to kale are all easy to produce with minimum resources. They are very healthy and can be utilised in different forms.
  1. Bison: Bison, unlike other forms of red meat, can be produced sustainably. Additionally, through trampling, they even help in restoring vegetation.

Ways to Include Sustainability in Your Daily Life

There is not much time to restore our planet. It is a necessity now to adopt a sustainable way of living. So here are a few ways you can indulge in sustainable living: 

  1. Talk to people and make them aware about sustainable eating. You should encourage your close friends and family members to eat sustainable food. The conversation should include its benefits and positive impact on the environment so that they feel more motivated towards using sustainable foods.
  1. Only consume certified foods and food products – always check your food before purchasing. If you see stickers of Fairtrade or MSC, it is a plus point. Try not to indulge in buying food on sale.
  1. Recycle food packaging. This also helps in sustainability as recycling minimises wastage. You can also find easy ways to recycle packaging and even use them as house décor.

Conclusion

This Earth Day, let us all try and take a step forward and towards sustainable eating. You might miss your regular food in the beginning, but in the long run, sustainability is the best way of life! 

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