While we love a plate of kale as much as any health-conscious eater, this isn’t exactly what we mean by “green plate” during Earth Month. By green, we mean keeping your carb/protein/fat intake on point and taking care of mother earth. Unfortunately, though, these things do not always go hand in hand. Unsustainable farming practice in the U.S. and abroad have had a terrible impact on the planet contributing to global warming, loss of biodiversity, and soil degradation. Feeding ourselves and taking care of our collective mother should not be mutually exclusive. In fact, putting the earth first when designing your plate results in a far tastier and more nutritious meal. With a few conscious shifts, you can do your part to ensure that nourishing yourself also means giving the planet some love. Here are 5 ways to green your plate for earth month and every month.
5 Tips To Eat Green And Support Our Planet
Meat On The Side For Earth MonthRather than the main part of your meal, consider meat as a side dish and put veggies in the starring role. Pound for pound, it takes exponentially more resources to produce meat than vegetables. Plus, cows emit methane gas, which is a factor in global warming. If you’re a diehard carnivore, select pasture-raised products, which are produced using traditional farming techniques and are far more humane, ecological and sustainable than conventional products. Balance out meaty meals with meat-free days.
Whole Foods Win
Whole, minimally processed foods, like dried apricots and dried mission figs, take a lot less energy to produce than this. Plus, these foods are better for you since they’re not loaded with excess sugar and salt.
Less Is Often More With Food
Our eyes can be bigger than our stomach, which is to say that we often buy more food than we actually consume. In the U.S., more than 40 percent of the food grown for consumption is thrown away, according to U.S. News and World Report We find that pretty hard to stomach. Do your part by eating what you purchase. Incorporate pantry staples with a long shelf life into your diet and pair with fresh ingredients. When food waste does occur, compost it!
Grow For It
You don’t have to have a green thumb and a plot of land to start a garden. Consider starting small with a few pots of herbs. When was the last time you used the whole head of cilantro or parsley? This way you always have fresh ingredients on hand and can pick what you need.
Always Organic Food
Organic food is simply better in every way. Organic farming supports wildlife since farmers often rely on birds and other critters to help with pest control. These crops require less water and less energy, and organic food is also not toxic (which seems like a pretty big benefit). If you need any additional convincing, organic food also just tastes better – like, there’s actual research on this. While we want to keep this in mind for Earth Month, it's important year round.
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