Food and climate change are intertwined in a sophisticated way.
The food industry worldwide requires a significant amount of energy to produce food, transport and store it, and eventually prepare and serve it.
The result is greenhouse gas emissions. Forests, rivers, soils, and oceans also get destroyed and degraded.
Meanwhile, climate change is responsible for creating a vicious cycle of activity with countries vulnerable environmentally experiencing the most severe food insecurity.
The agricultural potential of such countries declines as climate change worsens. They over-rely on increasingly sophisticated food aid logistics because they need food.
Therefore, it’s important for such nations to engage in global food discussions on how to enhance their resilience and adaptability.
No two foods are made equal due to differences in transportation, storage, preparation and servings.
However, some foods have more impact on the environment than others. Various factors influence ecological impact.
You can develop an eco-friendly diet to support environmental protection.
Meat, especially beef, has the most impact on the environment among all types of food. Even so, the complete picture is complicated just as in other foods.
Limited livestock rearing has a few environmental benefits that are often overlooked. For instance, instead of buying chemical fertilizers, you can use livestock waste to fertilize your crops.
Waste products such as spent grain usually make up livestock feed, meaning you can easily consume extra calories when raising livestock.
It takes moderation to gain these benefits. Daily consumption of meat isn’t sustainable. Most foods require some moderation in consumption to avoid consuming excess calories.
Even so, pre-defined choices can make your diet eco-friendly.
Studies continue to emphasize the increasing impact of food on the environment and how it affects climate change.
Globally, food causes almost 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions. If action isn’t taken now, the figure is forecasted to grow. This explains the need to look ahead for climate targets to be met.
Food also impacts land and water systems with 70% of fresh water from lakes and rivers being utilized in agriculture. The current food system causes 60% of all loss in biodiversity worldwide because of agriculture results in deforestation.
Here’re a few ethical ways you can ensure that the foods you prepare in your kitchen are eco-friendly, sustainable and meet your family’s nutritional needs:
7 Ways Ethical Food Preparation Can Support Environmental Protection
- Eat more plants
Focus on eating vegetables, more so nuts and beans.
Add flavor and choice to your diets to protect the environment. Malaysia and China are good sources of inspiration because most of the foods eaten are plants-based.
Ranging from vegetable stews to delicious salads to pasta tagines and rice dishes, you’ll also find inspiration from Mediterranean dishes.
Plants are nutritious and full of flavor.
- Consume various foods
Expand your taste horizons without negatively impacting the environment.
You don’t have to rely on similar core ingredients and dishes such as chicken. Instead, make your plate colorful and exciting with flavorful and natural yet nutritious ingredients.
- Avoid food wastage
Wasting food translates to throwing away money and natural resources.
Studies show that households waste about 30% of food bought on average. This translates to withdrawing $100 from your bank account and stashing $30 into the bin.
Similarly, avoid bottled water.
Instead, drink filtered or plain tap water. This minimizes waste that occurs during transport and packaging. Check out here – http://www.sustainweb.org/page.php?id=137 – how drinking tap water can save both you and the planet.
- Eat meat in moderation
Eat red and white meat in moderation.
Most people eat chicken daily because it’s the new trend. You can get more of your proteins from plant sources when you eat less chicken.
Expand your horizons and try different new foods to find what suits your taste buds without eating excess calories.
- Buy food that meets credible certification standards
What’s on the packaging of the food you buy?
Various standards were established to ascertain that the foods you consume are ethically produced and sourced for sustainability. Check your food packaging to determine the certification standards it meets.
Look out for the following certifications on your food packaging:
- MSC and ASC for seafood
- Fairtrade – protects workers and farmers in developing nations
- RSPO for palm oil
- Freedom Food for animal welfare
Eat less foods rich in salt, fat and sugar
Eat smaller amounts of foods rich in salt, fat and sugar. Alternatively, consume them less often because they’re not staples but treats.
Include generous amounts of vegetables, fruits and starchy staples such as wholegrain in your meals to protect the health of your family.
Eliminate or reduce the amount of fats and oils, salt, and artificial additives you add to your food. Find out what the Food Standards Agency says about this.
Buy eco-friendly kitchen appliances to support environmental protection. Make sure your choice of kitchenware is sustainable and made from natural materials.
Similarly, choose kitchen appliances that support usage of less salt, fat and sugar.
For instance, the best pellet smokers are easy to set up and give value for your money, hence great addition to your kitchen. You’ll use less oil when grilling your foods, reducing your fat intake.
Additionally, grilling makes for added aroma in your meat for better taste. So, you won’t just eat less meat but a healthier meal.
- Support Fair Trade
Fair Trade ensures that foods are ethically produced through fair treatment of the earth and employees.
Check if your foods have a Fair Trade label to prepare sustainable foods in your kitchen and support environmental protection. This is a great way to support farmers and other producers who’re committed to ethical practices in food production. Generally, reduce your meat consumption, eat more plant-based foods or try a vegan diet to support an ethical and sustainable food system.