How I’m Creating an Environmentally Friendly Diet that Tastes Amazing
I’ve worked on weight control and immune system strength, and now to further tweak what I’m eating, I’m adjusting for an environmentally friendly diet. The climate disaster the planet is facing isn’t just the result of younger generations. Mine definitely played its part. Now, it’s my turn to play my part again, only in reducing the worsening of the planet I will be leaving behind.
My Environmentally Friendly Diet Doesn’t Mean Veganism
Certainly, eating meat and animal-based products plays a substantial role in pollution of many forms. That said, I’m trying to be realistic. For me, being realistic doesn’t mean suddenly becoming vegan. It doesn’t mean turning everything on its head. It means making small and powerful changes now, and then continuing to make changes over time so that I’m continually improving.
This was the type of attitude I took when I was working on healthy weight loss around a year ago. When I don’t overwhelm myself but focus on the most meaningful changes, then the changes are sustainable. That’s where the real power is, so it’s what I’m doing again now.
How I’m Eating Meals for an Environmentally Friendly Diet
Recent research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that if all Americans substituted even a single unsustainable food for an eco-friendly alternative, the collective difference would be a substantial one. Since I’m not counting on everyone taking part, I’m doing my best to find more than one alternative and to keep adding to the list as it makes sense to me.
Here are the steps I’ve been taking so far to help me to eat a more environmentally friendly diet overall. Please know that I understand that this is far from perfect. My purpose is to improve and to keep getting better, not to try to pretend that I’ve made only perfect choices.
Eating More Plant-Based Foods
Overall, animal-based foods have a far greater impact (some say at least double) on climate change than plant-based foods because of issues such as water use, land and energy requirements and so on. Therefore, I’m trying to focus my diet more heavily on plant-based products when I can.
Choosing Meat with Care
As I said, I’m not going vegan even for my environmentally friendly diet. That said, the meats I choose are selected very carefully. I am trying to choose options that are as sustainable as possible. I’m choosing local, pasture-raised, grass-fed options raised without antibiotics. I choose organic when I can. Yes, it’s far more expensive, but since I’m eating less of it, my meat budget remains about the same.
I’m very lucky to live in a place where lots of different foods are grown and raised and where food can be produced year-round. This makes it easier to shop local for my environmentally friendly diet. After all, the less food has to travel, the less shipping factors into its carbon footprint. Shopping farmers markets is also a lot of fun, so that’s just a bonus.
Cutting Back on Wasted Food
I have been taking a lot of care to buy as much as what I need and not more. I eat the foods that spoil fastest first. If I do buy in quantity (which is actually good for reducing packaging waste in many instances), I make sure it’s something I can portion out and freeze. The less I throw out, the less my food was produced needlessly. That means that any carbon footprint I do have is for a purpose, not just to be thrown away.
Since that has also helped to save money, it also means that I have more wiggle room for purchasing items like meat that have a smaller carbon footprint, which are more expensive in an already very pricy food shopping time.