Reading Time: 11 minutes

DIET FOR THE PLANET?

Edible Gardens by Lauri Kranz

DIETING HAS BECOME A CONSISTENT TREND SINCE UNDERSTANDING THE KEY IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION. FOR WEIGHT LOSS, MUSCLE GAIN, OR SPECIFIC CONDITIONS; WILL DIETING FOR THE PLANET BE NEXT?

Words By Léa Mouillot

We often do not realise the impact we can have as individuals. The point is everything you eat produces carbon, just as you do. Yet, one thing you can control, is how much of this carbon you produce. This article will explore the importance of realising our impact on the environment, and how we can make changes individually to be more eco-conscious with our diet.

“Everyone and everything has a carbon footprint. Carbon is an element found in every living thing in our earth, and humans have increased the normal amount of carbon on earth, in the form of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.” – Global Issues Network

We often hear about how an atmospheric rise in these gases are accelerating climate change, leading to catastrophic global consequences. So, how could we continue eating while reducing our carbon footprint?

“In the words of Kipling, we must begin the interaction with nature by the words: We are one blood.” – Science Direct

Pinterest sabina

Awareness

The first step is to become aware of this carbon footprint. Or in other words, to become eco-conscious.

Eco-consciousness is a term which appeared in the midst of the environmentalist movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s, describing a greater environmental awareness and sensitivity to one’s environmental impact. 

Eco-consciousness applied to nutrition has continuously grown and developed, and you can find many resources in libraries, on the internet or even through eco-friendly blogs. Start doing some research, talking to people around you and understand where your food comes from, what foods are better for the planet and how you could make an eco-friendly diet work for you. 

Pinterest Once Wed

@wolfcubwolfcub

Go Local

Doing groceries in local shops will diminish your carbon footprint drastically. In fact all the energy and gas consumed by transports to get your food to the shop will be minimal. Eating locally often means eating ingredients in season, negating the need for high-energy greenhouses and their emissions. Inform yourself by talking to the people owning local shops to learn more about the products of season. As well, it will make some farmers make a living in your region and boost the economy.

Think Differently

A lot of people buy and eat into what seem like food ‘trends’. Everyone needs to take responsibility for our buying choices, despite how much we may love a particular product. It is entirely possible to pause before making food choices, and to learn more about the ingredients and their potential impacts. 

With a little research on recent problematic products, we can easily find examples, such as Palm Oil and quinoa. Both Palm Oil and quinoa’s widespread use have been identified as incredibly harmful for the planet. Palm oil production induces deforestation which destroys the biodiversity of tropical rainforests. When these forests are lost, more carbon is released into the atmosphere contributing to global warming. Not dissimilarly, quinoa plantations growth has led to soil infertility (the overuse of it does not permit the soil to recover and does not enable it to stock nutrients for future growth). 

It has become increasingly clear that many of the goods we consume on a large scale are grown and produced over huge swathes of natural land. The impact this demand creates on the natural land and surrounding environment almost never has beneficial impacts. Next time you come across a new tasty snack or health food trend, read into the impacts a little further first. 

Eat More Plants

Including more plant-based ingredients and seeds in your diet and reducing meat consumption is usually the first step. Some meat like industrial beef should be cut first since they often represent the worst impact on the environment. You don’t necessarily have to jump straight into veganism, though making a conscious effort to lower your meat consumption can already be a huge step. You can easily find meat-free alternatives for your favourite dishes, such as soya, tofu, quorn. Test some new things, discover new recipes, have fun experimenting!

Look At The Sources

Always look at where the products come from. Concerning meat try to get some locally and make sure they don’t contain antibiotics or hormones. Antibiotics are often given to animals used in big industries, which introduces chemicals where they are not needed.

Look at products that are hormone-free, especially when it comes to dairy. In fact, these are proven to have negative impacts on the health of all living creatures. Plus, they will certainly end up polluting water and finishing in your glass.

By Trinette Reed & Chris Gramly

Think About Packaging

Needless, and often plastic, packaging covers nearly all food we buy in supermarkets, and more often than not, we do not pay enough attention to the damaging effect this can have on the environment. In reality, packaging is as important as the origin of the food. For that reason you should always try to look for packaging that uses the least amount of materials, as to make less garbage. 

On another note, you should consider investing in bags and cups of quality (reusable ones) and bring them with you everywhere you go. Plus, a lot of coffee shops now let you buy your own reusable cups and use them instead.

Finally, when out and about, always prefer beverages and drinks coming from a tap (without plastic straws or in recyclable packaging such as aluminium cans). This diminishes the amount of packaging used for your drink.

Shop our Reusable Bamboo Cups

KOMODO

Papafranco Reusable Bamboo Cup

KOMODO

Threadneedle Reusable Bamboo Cup

KOMODO

Sapere Aude Reusable Bamboo Cup

KOMODO

Dark Energy Reusable Bamboo Cup