Welcome to March, which is National Nutrition Month. This is a good time to learn more about making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. This year's theme, “Fuel for the Future”, highlights the importance of eating with sustainability in mind.
So what does eating with sustainability mean? It means consuming food with a low environmental impact, helping reduce gas emissions, pollution, and chronic diseases in humans. And that means eating more organic fruits and vegetables. (I wish I loved vegetables!!)
Why eat with sustainability?
Eating with sustainability in mind is not only good for the environment, but it is also a great way to nourish ourselves during every phase of life. Here are some reasons why:
1.It's better for the planet
The food choices we make have a significant impact on the environment. By choosing sustainably produced food, we can reduce our carbon footprint and help protect the planet. Eating a plant-based diet, for example, is a great way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve natural resources.
2. It's good for our health
Choosing nutrient-dense, whole foods that are sustainably produced is good for our health. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients that help keep our bodies healthy and strong. They are also typically lower in calories and higher in fiber, which can help us maintain a healthy weight.
3. It supports local farmers
Choosing locally sourced food is a great way to support local farmers and small businesses. It also helps reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation and distribution.
4. It can save us money
Eating sustainably doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, choosing whole foods and plant-based meals can often be more affordable than buying processed or packaged foods. By choosing seasonal produce and buying in bulk, we can save money while reducing waste.
Although, some foods, such as organic fruits and vegetables and grass-fed meats may cost more initially. But careful planning and better use of leftovers can even out the cost.
Tips to eat with sustainability
So, what are some ways we can eat with sustainability in mind? Although there is some overlap between why we should eat sustainability and how to do that, here are some tips:
1.Choose plant-based meals
Eating a plant-based diet is one of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact. This means incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds into your meals.
2. Buy local and seasonal produce
Choosing locally sourced and seasonal produce is a great way to support local farmers and reduce your carbon footprint. It also means you're getting the freshest, most nutrient-dense produce available.
If you’re not sure where to find locally sourced food, the U.S. Department of Agriculture can help you find that information. Just click on the link or click here.
Here are two more sources to find good locally sourced food in your area:
The Local Harvest website has search capabilities to insert your city and state for these options:
3. Choose sustainably produced meat and dairy
If you choose to eat meat and dairy, look for products that are sustainably produced. This means choosing products from animals that are raised in humane conditions, with minimal environmental impact. Search for Meat Processors in your area at Local Harvest.
4. Reduce food waste
Reducing food waste is another important way to eat with sustainability in mind. This means planning your meals, using up leftovers, and composting food scraps.
In conclusion, eating with sustainability in mind is an important way to nourish ourselves during every phase of life and protect the environment. By choosing plant-based meals, buying local and seasonal produce, choosing sustainably produced meat and dairy, and reducing food waste, we can make a difference in our health and the health of the planet.
Is it easy to change how we eat? No. But we don’t have to change everything. Simply making small changes will help. We can cut back on meat consumption, add another vegetable to the menu, and plan to use leftovers in appetizing ways.
Happy National Nutrition Month! What one thing can you do to implement any of these suggestions?
Disclosure: My blog posts sometimes contain affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase, which is at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
I’m Vicki Peel, former home economics teacher and educational administrator. If you are not receiving my emails, coupons, and freebies, look for the Subscribe block (below right) and submit your contact information. I will not share your information with anyone, and all the content you will receive as part of our community is free. I may occasionally promote someone else’s paid content, offer a product for your consideration or share an item that I think might be of use to you. However, you are under no obligation to purchase anything – ever. So, sign up now so you won’t miss anything!