The food choices we make each day not only affect our well-being, they also impact the world around us. From the way our food is grown, to how it is manufactured and sold, our diets influence the world’s wellness and sustainability.
If being environmentally conscious in the way you live is important to you and your family, begin to examine the way you buy, prepare, and consume your favorite foods. You can not only improve the lives of your family members by making shifts in your diet, but also learn how some of these changes can positively impact the planet.
Here are five different ways that eating healthy pays off long-term for you and the world we live in:
1. Minimize Water Usage
Water remains one of the most precious resources on earth. Surprisingly, there’s one less obvious way to reduce the amount of water you utilize. If you want to do your part to save water, you can eat at least one meatless meal a week.
It’s a fact that raising livestock consumes a great deal of this valuable resource, simply because cattle, sheep, pigs, and other sources of meat consumption must drink water several times of day. When your family consume less meat, you contribute to water sources being conserved and used for more important purposes.
2. Help Reduce Pesticides
Commercial farming relies on the use of pesticides and chemicals to grow as much food as possible. When you make an effort to eat organically produced foods, it safeguards your family’s health by reducing their exposure to toxins.
While many scientists say that pesticides and chemicals used on commercial farms are safe for human consumption, the long term risks still continue to be undocumented. If you want to lessen the earth’s dependence on chemically-sustained food, you can do your part by buying organic.
3. Buy Fresh and Local
Buying locally grown foods at your farmer’s market or vegetable stand offers many benefits, one of the most important being that fresh produce is an important element of a healthy diet. As well as eating foods that are fresh and locally grown, you also avoid buying groceries that are wrapped in environmentally hazardous materials such as plastic and styrofoam.
Remember, many modern packaging materials can take decades to break down and be reabsorbed into the earth. Help protect the environment by choosing groceries grown in your local area and sold fresh at your community’s outdoor markets and freestanding fruit and vegetable stands.
4. Choose Fast Food Wisely
You probably already are aware that a healthier diet leads to optimal body weight and better nutrition. In fact, the fast food industry’s negative attention in the U.S. alone has lead it to being dubbed the Fast Food Nation of the World. Well, the world has listened, and now we are beginning to see nutrition-minded innovators get on board and recognize the benefits of offering wholesome foods by specializing in healthy fast food options.
Many companies who only offered high fat, high-calorie foods in the past are making some attempts at transforming their menus. They now offer low fat and lower calorie items such as salads, fruits, and grilled meats. It’s up to you, is it enough to have a salad with high-calorie, fatty dressing, or fruit topped high-calorie yogurts (with high-fat granola as well), or even grilled mystery meat?
When you choose to pass up the drive-thru (that doesn’t have your best health in mind), you can also wave goodbye to a host of health issues that deplete your quality of life. Greasy, highly processed fast foods cause all sorts of maladies, such as hypertension, brain fog and obesity. Stand your ground, and support the companies who care.
5. Explore New Foods and Flavors
The key to staying fit and trim could lie within the inclusion of a diverse variety fresh meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains as witnessed in countries like Japan, Brazil, and Sweden. If you were to sit down at one of the tables to dine in those countries, you’d find out that low-fat, high protein dishes are quite common there. Restaurants around the U.S. are now adopting these better dietary staples to serve to customers.
Experiment with all the different types of foods available on our planet. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, eating the same things all the time. Play with herbs and spices, take the time to grill or bake and reduce the use of your microwave. Buy a new cookbook and try out some new recipes – have a family cooking night, with everyone making a part of the menu. Plan out your meals for the week and buy accordingly. These actions will reduce impulse buying (that typically leads to a poor nutritive value) and save money, as well.
Your diet is a part of your personal footprint and has a direct impact on the earth’s wellness and ability to sustain itself. Take the time to adopt a conscientious way of eating and buying foods, for better health, and a personal contribution to the world as well.
Enjoy this article? Receive email alerts when new articles are available. Just click on the “Subscribe” button below.