In honor of our planet, I’m celebrating the many ways our daily food decisions can protect the earth’s limited natural resources and promote sustainability. If you think you can’t make a difference by what you choose to eat, you can!
Here are 10 ways to make Earth Day mean something all year long:
- Eat less meat. Over half of US farmland is devoted to growing food for the animals we eat. Raising animals for food generates more greenhouse-gases than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships, and planes in the world combined. Get creative with meatless Mondays and when you must eat meat and fish, choose US raised shrimp and fish like barramundi, tilapia and catfish, and 100% grass fed beef and organic poultry.
- Eat seasonally. Reconnect with nature’s cycle and enjoy food at its freshest and least expensive. Avoid paying a premium to eat food that has traveled half-way around the world to get on your plate. Browse recipes by season here!
- Eat fresh at every meal. Fill at least half your plate with fresh food at each meal. The earth (and your waistline) will thank you for it.
- Eat in. Just because you eat sustainably, your favorite restaurant might not. Save energy, packaging, and waste by cooking at home.
- Eat in bulk. Pay attention to the packaging your food comes in. Are you buying two or three times the paper or plastic you need to because of convenient, single-serve snack foods, cereals, and drinks? Buy in bulk when you can – you’ll save money, resources, and you’ll eat less processed foods.
- Eat Local or Regional. Decrease the distance from the farm to your plate by shopping at local farmer’s markets or joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Be a part of a community that buys food from local farmers. Local food tastes better, uses less packaging, and costs less.
- Eat from your own garden. In the garden, the greenhouse, or the windowsill – grow your own tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and herbs! Learn how here.
- Eat from reusable containers. Reuse your plastic storage bags, bring your lunch in reusable containers (I like these Bento boxes), bring your own produce storage bags when shopping, and re-purpose to-go containers.
- Eat clean. Choose fresh, whole foods whenever possible. Limit highly processed, frozen meals, and packaged foods. Eat food your grandparents would recognize!
- Eat earth friendly. Look for eco-friendly labels such as Certified Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, Bird Friendly, Marine Stewardship Council, Food Alliance, Fair Trade Certified, Grass-Fed, Certified Humane Raised and Handled, and Hormone free.
So, what will you do to make a difference today?