Friday, April 18, 2014

How to give your diet an eco makeover this Earth Day

Six ways to give your diet an eco makeover this Earth Day

The new “eating well”; being deliberate about what food you buy, where your buy it, and then ensuring that you eat it all.

I consider Earth Day a celebration, a launch party for a new way of doing things. The annual event challenges Canadians to make changes to our day-to-day lives in ways that benefit the planet and if we want to take up that challenge, April 22 is the kickoff day.  

One of this year’s challenges is to give our kitchen tables an eco-makeover by making more sustainable food choices and wasting less. It’s a very green thing to do since where we buy our food, what we buy and what we do with our leftovers has such a big impact on the environment. Regional food security comes into play as well since we’re so dependent on food from faraway places.

So where to begin? Earth Day Canada presents six suggestions for what we can all start doing today to make a meaningful impact through our daily meals.

Prepare a meal using at least one in-season or local ingredient.
When you buy locally grown or produced food it has a huge ripple effect. It means you’re supporting local producers and your food dollars stay in our region. Farmers and producers need our support to keep providing us with quality food, so this is one easy way to do our part. It’s also the key to helping our region become more self-sufficient, so we’re less dependent on food trucked in from faraway places.

Visit a restaurant that specializes in locally sourced or organic ingredients.
More and more restaurants are developing menus that feature local ingredients and bit by bit organic ingredients are starting to appear as well. If we support these restaurants then more like Pomodori, Saint John Ale House and East Coast Bistro, will likely appear. For prepared food made with local ingredients visit Cochran’s, Kredl’s and Nela’s Kitchen.

Eat your leftovers.
Food waste is one of the greatest threats to the global food supply and households are the greatest food waste culprits. Eat your leftovers or make less if your leftovers are going to waste. Buy glass storage containers so leftovers don’t get lost in the fridge. Buy smaller quantities of more perishable items like salad greens and tender vegetables. Throw stuff in the freezer before it goes bad. Serve reasonable portions.

Purchase sustainable seafood.
According to World Wildlife Fund, m
ore than 70% of the world’s commercial marine fish stocks are either overfished or on the verge of being overfished. Purchasing seafood that is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified means you’re supporting sustainably managed fisheries.  

Eat less meat.
Meat has the highest carbon footprint of all protein sources so eating less meat is one of the best things we can do for the planet. The great thing is that you don’t have to eliminate meat to have an impact. Just try to e
at better quality meat and less of it. Look for naturally raised local meat and grass-fed beef. 

This is the new “eating well”; being deliberate about what food you buy, where your buy it, and then ensuring that you eat it all.

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