Happy Earth Day! It’s no surprise that the food we eat doesn't just impact our own health--it tremendously impacts the health of our planet, too. Eating for the planet doesn’t necessarily require drastic changes, though. Simple, small steps can make a BIG difference for the earth:
Eat local + seasonally.
When we buy food grown or produced locally, the food doesn’t have to travel as far, meaning less pollution in transportation. BONUS: Freshly picked produce is super nutritious vs produce that must be picked and trucked up for days before it hits the grocery store shelves. DOUBLE BONUS: Buying from regional farms drives dollars right back into our local economy and provides jobs to our neighbors. TRIPLE BONUS: Shopping at local farmers’ markets is FUN! The Baltimore Farmers Market runs through Christmas and is a great scene.
Reduce consumption of animal products.
There are significant environmental impacts to completely eliminating meat, dairy and eggs from our diets, but any reduction in consumption—like adopting Meatless Monday or reducing the portion size of meat on your plate—creates positive impact. Farming animals—especially cows—takes a huge amount of water and energy and produces a sizeable amount of waste.
Rather than focusing on what you “can’t” eat, build meals around all the healthful and delicious foods that just happen to be plant-based. BONUS: A diet loaded with vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds + whole grains is a healthy choice for your body, too! Eating lower on the food chain reduces risk of colon cancer, heart disease and other diseases.
Buy in bulk.
Buying foods in bulk reduces packaging waste AND return trips to the store. Some stores like MOM’s Organic Market even allow you to bring your own container.
Waste less by planning.
Food waste is a terrible thing. Before bringing any perishable ingredient into your home, think about how and when you’ll prepare it.
Read more great suggestions from the National Resources Defense Council on simple changes to your diet to impact our planet HERE.