Why you should include more sustainable foods in your diet
Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, vegan, or simply a conscious carnivore, you likely understand the push toward more sustainable food choices and the impact it can have on the planet and your health. Sustainable living can come in a variety of forms, from full ecological activity to small repairs here and there. Really, it can all start in your kitchen.
When it comes to choosing sustainable food options, there are many ways to do so. While plant foods, fruits, and vegetables are all great options, there are many ways to bring sustainability into your home, and many reasons to give them a try. Even if you’re not a vegetarian or don’t know much about sustainable living yet, you can take smaller steps into the world of sustainable food until you find comfort. Every little bit helps, especially over a long period of time – hence the term “sustainable”. Here are some reasons you might want to incorporate more sustainable food options into your diet.
- Saving Money
While some sustainable and fresh food options can be a little more expensive than packaged and processed foods, there are plenty of options for sustainable priced foods as well. Specifically, buying in bulk and eating in season is one of the best ways to save money while eating sustainably. Coincidentally, some of the more sustainable food options are also some of the most affordable ways to eat. Especially if you go the route of growing your own food or engaging in a food exchange, you can significantly lower your food costs.
- healthy food
Eating sustainably often comes with the added benefit of eating healthy food. Eating sustainable food isn’t usually just about eating fresh foods, but the foods you do eat likely contain fewer preservatives, additives, fats, and sugars, too. While sustainable food is often discussed in terms of environmental sustainability, the sustainable and healthy impact it has on your body should not go unmentioned. Even when you compare sustainable foods to their more processed counterparts, sustainable foods come out on top — like wild salmon, which has more calcium, zinc, and iron for fewer calories, and organic broccoli, which has more vitamin C.
- Environmental benefits
Of course, where would it be to talk about sustainable food without mentioning the environmental benefit of all that? Eating sustainably can reduce your carbon footprint significantly. Although the exact contribution you make to the planet will depend on the specific choices you make in your diet and how often you make them, the benefits will be there regardless, even the smallest significant contribution when fighting climate change. Eating more local and sustainable foods can save things like water, transportation emissions, packaging, and other wasted parts of the food production process.
- Reducing food waste
Food waste is another reason why eating sustainably is the way to go, and it’s a way to effect change. Sustainable food reduces food waste in the process of getting to your table, but you can also reduce food waste in your home in order to make your food consumption more sustainable. By saving leftovers, and not overdoing it or even composting, you can do your part to reduce food waste. There are even subscription boxes dedicated to delivering products that were rejected from the grocery store based on appearance only, and sold at a discount!
- Kindness to animals
Sustainability often comes with the added benefit of caring for animals. Some of the foods that are less sustainable to eat in excess include animal products — especially red meat, dairy and processed meats. Even if you’re not completely vegan, any little bit helps. Meat-free Mondays, flexible diets, and eggs free are all great steps in the right direction.
- Become more self-sufficient
While not everyone likes to grow their own food, it is one of the most sustainable options when it comes to producing food and getting it to eat. Not only does the work come from your hands, but there’s no travel time for your food either! It goes straight from the floor to your table – well, well, you need to wash it first. Even if you start with some basic and easy plants, gardening can help you become more self-sufficient and dependent on your land.
Eating more sustainably
There are many reasons why you should include more sustainable foods in your diet. From kindness to animals to the positive impact you can have on the planet – not to mention your body! Plus, there are many ways to eat more sustainably. Whether you’re looking for fresh, local options at the grocery store or garden in your own backyard or starting to eat fewer animal products in favor of plant-based options, every little bit can lend a helping hand to creating a more sustainable world.