For more than 50 years, Americans have celebrated Earth Day on April 22 to raise awareness about the health of our planet, and now is a good time for us to take stock of how we’re contributing to a cleaner environment. . The source, types and how we prepare the foods we eat can make a big difference.
One of the ways we can have an impact is by reducing our food waste. It is estimated that in the United States, 108 billion pounds of food is wasted, or about 30-40% of the food supply. When that food is wasted, so are the resources and energy used in producing, processing and transporting the food. In addition, waste that ends up in a landfill produces methane, a greenhouse gas.
Reducing food waste isn’t the only way to promote a healthier planet. Since animal-based foods use more land, water, and greenhouse gas emissions than plant-based sources, reducing our meat consumption is another way to reduce our carbon footprint.
Consider the following planet-friendly eating tips:
Do one day a week without meat. Fill your plate with lots of vegetables and fruits, lentils or tofu to balance your meal with plant protein.
Reduce portion sizes. Smaller portions mean fewer resources used, so aim to stick to a 3-4 ounce serving of protein.
Eat in season. Eating seasonal produce can mean reduced greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, since seasonal produce can be purchased closer to home. Look for our partnerships with local producers in your Food City.
Prepare your lunch. Bringing your own lunch from home reduces food and packaging waste.
Buy in bulk. Not only can this be a great way to save money, but it also cuts down on packaging. Instead of buying convenient snacks in individual portions, buy the family bag and the portion in reusable containers.
Use all edible parts. When cooking beets, save the beet greens for sautéing and adding to an omelet. Add carrot leaves to a soup. Mashed kale and broccoli stalks.