What Is Sustainable Eating?

What Is Sustainable Eating?

Sustainable eating is defined as consuming food that is healthy for the body and the environment. In addition, it is humane for workers and respectful of animals, provides fair wages to farmers, and supports agricultural communities.

Sustainable eating is directly tied to our health. The main component of sustainable eating is consuming a plant-based diet, one in which plant material makes up the majority of the volume of food on the plate.

With a high level of antioxidants, plants protect our bodies from oxidative stress, which damages cells, later causing diseases. A plant-based diet not only assists your body with its elaborate natural defense system aimed at minimizing damage from environmental toxins but also decreases your carbon footprint. In addition, eating food grown in a sustainable way reduces the potential consequences of pesticide contamination.

Eating foods that are grown locally is an important aspect of sustainable eating. Local produce varieties tend to be chosen for flavor and nutrition over shipping ability and are often in the market within 24 to 48 hours after harvest.

In contrast, imported produce is picked before it is fully ripe and before nutrient content is completely developed. Therefore it can lose more of its nutrient value in the long travel time to your market. Finally, eating a sustainable, plant-based diet has a positive impact on biodiversity, climate change, and the water supply.

Reconnecting to food through sustainable eating can be a revolution against a broken, industrialized food system that has made us and the planet sick. Changing your eating behavior, even partially, will have a great impact on your health and the environment.

Easy strategies that are good for your health and the environment

•    Eat seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (choose in-season, locally grown ones).

•    Buy organic—especially meat, poultry, and dairy products.

•    Shop at local growers’ markets.

•    Use frozen fruit and vegetables to substitute for out-of-season produce.

•    Eat less animal protein: 6 to 8 ounces per day for women and 8 to 10 ounces per day for men.

•    Increase vegetarian food choices (more beans, lentils, nuts, and soy).

•    Drink filtered tap water instead of bottled water.

•    Join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) group for fresh, local produce delivered to your door.

•    Use fewer processed grains: choose whole oats instead of packaged cereals, and eat whole grains like faro instead of processed and refined starches.

•    Buy real, whole foods with less packaging.

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