Looking after our health and the environment.
What does the environment have to do with eating? It make sense that we need a healthy habitat to grow nutritrious food. Food can be filling, fun and flavoursome, but producing food can also impact our carbon footprint. Here in New Zealand, nearly half of our greenhouse gas emmisions come from our food agriculture. So what can we do to better look after Papatūānuku (earth mother)?
Eating sustainably is about changing the way we eat, so that we’re doing what’s healthy for our bodies as well as healthy for the environment. Here are some ideas, why not try one this week:
Eat more plants
Aim for half of our food to be fruit or vegetables. Fruit and vegetables take less energy to grow and they’re so good for us. Diets with plenty of vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds are lower in saturated fat, contain heart-healthy fats and are an excellent source of fibre. They give our bodies vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals, which offer protection against disease.
If our fruit and vege are in season, it means less energy was used to keep it fresh. It’s also better for your wallet too! You can see which fruit and vegetables are currently in season in New Zealand here
Foodmiles means how far food has had to travel before it’s eaten. If your apple has been on a plane ride, it’s taken more energy to get to you than one that was grown here. Head down to your local farmers market or greengrocer to get fresh and affordable produce, or why not try your growing your own food in the backyard or on the kitchen windowsill? That’s the ultimate in low foodmiles.
Expand your horizons
Try new dishes from other cultures and countries, experiment with spices, and bulk up meals with legumes.
Moderate your meat
Meat takes a lot of resources to produce, from growing animals to transporting and storing the meat you will eat. Prioritise plant based eating: try a Meat Free Monday with your whanau to reduce the environmental impact of red meat consumption. We have some great recipes here.
Reduce food waste
Take a list to the grocery shop, learn to love leftovers, and store food well - Love food hate waste have some great ideas to reduce and reuse food waste.
Less food packaging
Always pack a drink bottle, buy in bulk, and if buying packaged food try and choose food packaged in reusable or recyclable glass jars, cardboard, and mutliple use plastics. Why not create some food wraps with your tamariki to reduce single use clingwrap.
Eat less processed foods
Foods that have been processed use more energy to be created. If you’re buying food in it’s natural form (or close to it), you’re not spending extra money for factory time. There’s also the benefit of less saturated fat, salt and sugar, which is added to food during processing. Good for your health, good for your wallet and good for the environment!
Thank you for your feedback.
The Fuelled4life team.