Top Green Eating Tips

12/31/10 by Gordo

When I first started learning about going green, a lot of the changes I made were related to food. I started shopping at a local food co-op, eating vegetarian food, composting food scraps, and buying organic produce. The changes I made not only benefitted the planet,  but they also helped me save money and  improve my health. If you want to make smarter food choices in the supermarket and kitchen, check out these top green eating tips.

Eat Local

Visit local food co-ops and farmer’s markets to find fresh, locally produced food. Not only do you support your community and local economy by buying local food, you also help to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by long-distance shipping. You can also join a CSA, which stands for community

supported agriculture. When you are a member of a CSA, you can have fresh fruits, vegetables, and other farm-fresh products delivered to you on a weekly basis.

Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods

Nutrient-rich foods, such as leafy greens, fruits, and flax, make you feel fuller faster. So, not only will eating nutrient-rich foods help you lose weight and improve your health, it will also reduce the amount of food that has to be produced and transported.

Eat Seasonal Foods

Buy seasonal foods because they’re fresher and healthier. As an added benefit, eating local foods that have been harvested recently is better for the environment since the food doesn’t have to be transported from across the country or world in order to reach your dinner table.

Cook from Scratch

Cook from scratch and avoid processed foods, which contain additives and preservatives and are heavily packaged. Cooking from scratch is more nutritious, better for the environment, and more affordable, to boot.

Eat Organic

In most lists of green eating tips, eating organic is a strong recommendation. Buying organic foods is more expensive, but it’s well worth the extra cost. Organic produce is grown without harmful pesticides and fertilizers, so it’s better for you and the planet. On the other hand, produce that is grown with chemicals pollutes our water supply, depletes the soil of nutrients, erodes the soil, and has fewer nutrients.

Buy Minimally Packaged Foods or Foods in Bulk

Buy fresh ingredients or food in bulk to minimize the amount of packaging that ends up in recycling. When you shop at local food co-ops, you can typically buy food in bulk and store it in reusable containers. If you buy food with packaging, at least make sure that it can be recycled. Furthermore, roast a whole chicken rather than buying chicken cuts or make your own granola and cereals to cut down on packaging significantly.

Eliminate Meat from Your Diet

Did you know that people who eat meat create 38 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined? You can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint by eliminating meat from your diet. Moreover, 70 percent of the land in North America is used to produce animal feed. Not only does producing this animal feed take up lots of space, it also depletes the soil of essential nutrients, which would explain why the food we eat doesn’t make us feel full. Before 1940, there were substantially more nutrients in our food.

If you don’t want to stop eating meat, opt for grass-fed beef and organic, free-range meat. Organic meat doesn’t contain the same toxins and chemicals that factory farmed meat does. Moreover, grass doesn’t need to be transported in order to feed livestock, so raising grass-fed livestock has a smaller carbon footprint.

Use a Bento Box

If you take a brown bag lunch to school or work, replace the brown bag with a bento box, or Japanese lunch box. Bento boxes are reusable and also help you control the portions sizes of your meals.

Grill Your Food Outdoors

Grill your food outdoors when possible because outdoor grills use less energy than stoves. Grilling your food outside also keeps heat out of the house, so you don’t put a strain on your air conditioner during the summertime.

Don’t feel like you have to implement all of these green eating tips overnight. Take it slowly, but realize that with every small change you make, you’re one step closer to optimal health and an eco-friendly lifestyle. Eating green isn’t just good for the planet; it’s good for you, too. Remember: you are what you eat, and your food choices also impact the earth.

Be Sociable, Share!
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Type your comment in the box below: