Yes, what we eat has a huge impact on the planet and in choosing an eco-friendlier diet we can be much more responsible with nature, our environment, and our body. The FAO has even indicated the importance of changing to a sustainable diet worldwide. However, when it comes to nutrition there cannot be a generalization, each person, according to its lifestyle, physical condition, health status, financial capabilities or personal ethics, requires a different diet. However, there are some simple guidelines we can all follow to eat healthier and eco-friendlier.
Sustainable Diet: Discover the keys and start taking care of nature
Less packaged products and more fresh ones:
Basing our nutrition in fresh products is healthier and more sustainable. Although some packaged products are good for our health, like cooked legumes, most of the packaged products need more energy for their production and are bad for our bodies. There is no need to demonize, the key is having fresh products as a priority and complement with the packaged ones.
The closer their production is, the better. With your proximity purchase you will be supporting local producers and their transport will require much less energy. If we think about it, there is no sense in sending food by plane or ship to the other side of the ocean on a regular basis.
Either we are talking about vegetables or fish, paying attention to the seasons is a very positive thing for the environment and for our palate. Think about the taste of a tomato or oranges in season compared to the rest of the year. If that fruit or vegetable is not in season within our geographical zone, its transport or its production in greenhouses will require more production energy. In the case of fish, the damage is even greater. If we consume species that happen to be in reproduction process, we might cause irreversible damage. As a matter of fact, there are currently several species at risk of extinction due to the abuse of their consumption, like the bluefin tuna.
Betting on organic agriculture:
It is differentiated from the conventional agriculture due to the lack of use of pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides harmful to the soil, agriculture, and the environment or consumers. It is true that if the vegetables are washed properly, the consumer has no reason to ingest the chemicals that are used in non-organic agriculture, but the damage to agricultural zones is inevitable. Massive agriculture affects the environment due to its harm to pollinating insects, bacteria, and small soil animals. Even the people who work on them can be affected. Also, it spoils the cropland in the medium and long term, making the farmers increasingly dependent on fertilizers. That is why for a diet, it is better, if we can, to choose vegetables cultivated with responsibility and in an organic way.
Less meat and more vegetables:
Vegan and vegetarian diets are better for the environment, however, if we do not want to stop eating meat or fish, decreasing our consumption is a positive step for the environment. Massive farming is a major source of polluting gases for the planet and it does not have any respect for the animals. Also, animal feeding at their industrial farms causes grave damages in natural zones like the Amazon, where up to date, they are getting rid of woods zones to plant soy for the farming industry. If you consume meat, you can contribute by limiting your weekly portions and buy in proximity and from responsible small farmers. If you are afraid you will not be consuming enough proteins, studies indicate the cases of protein deficiency are rare within vegetarian or vegan diets; by the way, the legumes, dry fruits or tofu, are good vegetable protein sources.
Eggs and dairy from animals that live in freedom:
And if we also eat meat and fish, not contributing to industrial farming is always good for the environment and for wildlife.
Bulk purchasing with your own packages and bags:
Plastic is one of the wastes that has caused the most damage to our planet in the last few years, so if you can, avoid it in your purchase of food.
Avoid or reduce ultra-processed to the maximum:
The processed meats (sausages), the pre-cooked food (frozen pizzas, prepared dishes…) and the processed snacks with plastic packaging (potato chips, chocolates, pastries…). Any physician or nutritionist discourages the consumption of this type of food for being harmful to your health, and they also are a source of plastic pollution due to both, its packaging and its production. In their majority, these products are made in a massive industry that does not care for the environment and which is a massive issuer of CO2 and other pollutants.
All the points contribute to making your nutrition better for the planet, and therefore, for the people. But if you think we have given you too much information, we will resume it in a key phrase for a sustainable and healthy diet: bet for a diet based on fresh vegetables and proximity, reduce animal product consumption and forget processed food.