Food is responsible for around 30 per cent of greenhouse gases globally.
Since we all need to eat, it’s no wonder that much of the climate change focus is targeted on eco-friendly eating options. So, how can you do your bit at home?
Go green and follow these six steps to a more sustainable diet from nutritionist Kim Pearson.
Waste Less Food
Let’s start with the basics; not throwing away food. The average household throws out around 30 per cent of the food it buys, which is not only a waste of your hard-earned money, but a waste of the earth’s resources, too. Aim to buy only what you know you’ll use and add a couple of waste food recipes into your end-of-week arsenal, such as a vegetable soup to use up all the veg you would have otherwise discarded. Get used to freezing leftovers rather than binning them and remember you can chop and freeze many leftover fruits and vegetables, too, which will be great for throwing in smoothies.
No matter how eco-friendly and healthy you might think your vegan protein bar is, if the ingredients have travelled half way around the world to reach you, it’s racking up your carbon footprint. Locate and check out your local farmers market and get used to buying as much fresh, seasonal, local produce as you can. Alternatively, try a weekly vegetable delivery box such as Riverford or Abel and Cole and get seasonal organic veggies delivered directly to your door.
Eat Less Meat
Meat farming has one of the highest environmental impacts of all food production, so reducing your meat consumption, even by a little, will up your green credentials. Lamb and beef have the highest environmental impact, so save them for special occasions and choose organic, local options wherever possible. If you’re a devout carnivore, try avoiding meat for one day a week, starting with a meat free Monday.
Get to Know Food Labels
Do some research into the labels on the packaging of food you’re buying so that you know the logos to look out for. The Fairtrade logo indicates the protection of farmers and workers in developing countries, while Freedom Food indicated animal welfare, RSPO labelling refers to sustainably sources palm oil and MSC and ASC signify seafood sustainability.
Grow Your Own
If you have access to garden space give growing your own fruit and vegetables a go. Potatoes, tomatoes, peas, carrots and strawberries are all good starter options, and if you don’t have any garden space, how about some herbs or a chilli plant for your kitchen window ledge? Instead of throwing away food scraps, you can compost them and give your soil a nutrient boost.
Less Processed & Packaged Food
Long-life and highly processed foods tend to use way more single-use plastic in their packaging and are usually best avoided from a nutritional point of view, too. Buy as much fresh, loose produce as you can and take your own bags shopping to minimise the use of plastic in your weekly shop.
Kim Pearson is a qualified nutritionist and weight loss specialist based on London’s Harley Street. She consults clients in London and internationally via her virtual consulting room. For more information about Kim and the services she offers, visit her website kim-pearson.co