Saving our planet seems like a hard work that we need to do with huge effort and a lot of sacrifices. However, that kind of assumption might be a little bit misleading because we can actually save our planet from our food.
Of course, it is not just eating anything we want to eat without consideration, but there are some aspects that we need to pay attention to in our food. Eating without consideration will not only harm ourselves, but also our planet.
World Wildlife Funds (WWF) pointed out that there are some actions we can do to make our eating habit less harmful to our planet. Well, not only less harmful, but it can even help us restore this planet to a better condition.
Here are some essential aspects that WWF pointed out to make our food consumption safe and even restorative to the earth.
Why Food Matters?
Of course, food matters. Food is essential in our lives because it provides energy and nutrients to make our body functions perfectly. But outside our body, foods are basically resources that we harvest from this mother earth.
Harvesting resources is something that we need to pay close attention to, because if we do it recklessly it will become something destructive to this planet. But not only in harvesting it, how we make those resources available should respect the nature too.
We eat not only naturally available food, but also those that come from farms, and to build farmlands we have to sacrifice some other resources for this purpose. This is the second aspect that we should pay attention to.
And even though it comes from either the wild or farmland, some food have higher impact to our planet and more energy consumption than the others. Unfortunately, nowadays some of those high-impact resources are the ones that we consume the most. Thus, choice of food matters too.
Finally, after paying close attention to all of those things, there is one thing left to be considered. What will we do to the waste we produce in the process of eating delicious food? We can find solution to all of those problems based on Bending the Curve: The Restorative Power of Planet-based Diets. Here are the solutions to save this planet from our plates.
Start From The Ingredients
Choosing the ingredients of your food is more than choosing which one is delicious or not. It is also about sustainability of the ingredients. The thing is, no ingredient is totally sustainable or not sustainable, because the process of how it is farmed should determine that.
For this matter, choosing the ones that have minimal impact to the earth is highly suggested. It can be determined from how responsible the producers to many things.
The ones we should choose are the ones that care about their impacts on wildlife population and habitats, amount of pollution produced, and how natural do they treat their resources. Some labels on food can help us to understand how sustainably it was produced.
Energy Consumption Matters
After we choose the ingredients wisely, we need to consider how to prepare it into something that we consume. In this case, we need to eat more of minimally processed food because logically, the more processed a food is, the more energy it consumed.
But raw things are not always the ones with least energy consumption. Products from far away need to be transported with more energy than products that come from places around us.
This is why consuming local produce is somewhat eco-friendlier than exotic produce from other countries. And it is so much better if we can grow it on our own and be the quality and sustainability control ourselves.
More Of This And Less Of This
You heard it right that being vegans can help us conserve this planet more than regular meat eaters. Another way to make foods on our plates eco-friendlier is to minimize our animal products intake, or at least make it balanced with fruit and vegetables.
Even though animal products contain great value of nutrition, they have higher environmental impacts. Farmed animals consume much more energy and resources (especially water and land) compared to plant-based products with similar amount of nutritional value.
So, anytime you can, choose fruits and vegetables over animal-based food. Going vegan is indeed a good option for this planet, but if you still cannot convert into a vegan you can at least choose to eat more plant-based foods.
Eat More Food Variety
75% of foods we eat globally come from only 12 species of plants and 5 species of animals. Imagine how boring we are! Not only it shows that we are boring, it also shows that we are lack of creativity in this deceptively comfort zone.
Don’t be afraid to try alternative foods. More variety in our diets is important because it will not only give better food security, but also help us to protect the nature by giving more biodiversity.
In example, soil will be healthier when different types of crops are grown together because they can give sufficient cycle of nutrients. Integrating various crops and livestock has also been proven to result in better products.
Food Waste Management
It is not about eating less, but eating as much as we need. Global food waste is already a problem nowadays. Not only because it is unfair to those people who live in hunger, but also because it is environmentally harmful.
An estimated one third of food produced globally is going to waste, and it means that there are only two-third of it that we globally consume. The problem is, to produce that much, we need to sacrifice so many resources in return.
By consuming only as much as it can satisfy us, we can not only save a lot of resources, but also energy, and money. Remember that by ‘consuming’, it is not only about eating but also the processing phase.
All of those things mentioned above are not that difficult to do, but not so many people are doing it because they tend to overlook those things. With this article, we hope that you now know what to do and why should we do that. Save our planet from our plates.