How to Cook and Eat More Sustainably
6 months ago
Now more than ever, we are conscious of where and how we obtain food. Food waste is a critical problem in America, as the USDA estimates approximately 30-40 percent of food goes to waste. That is the equivalent of approximately 133 billion pounds of food in the United States alone that does not get to our tables. Transportation, storage, and handling are only some of the factors that can lead to food spoilage, wasting not only food supply but the labor and energy that went into sourcing this food. So how do we fix this? As the push for natural, more sustainable food options skyrockets and we become more conscious of where food is sourced, the easiest suggestion is to make choices to minimize our own food waste. Making choices that affect your table is a positive way to contribute to the food waste crisis. Intentionally choosing where your food comes from and how you cook can be instrumental not only in your diet, but in your local economy as well.
Ways to Eat More Sustainably
Be Mindful:One of the ways we deal with stress is overeating. Overeating occurs when we don’t pay attention to the signals our body sends us, and eat despite not feeling hungry. When we are stressed, our body produces more cortisol, which contributes to that craving for unhealthy food. One way we can ensure that we are eating sustainably is by being mindful of what our body actually needs. When we take the time to think about what we eat, and how it contributes to our energy supplies, we can make more sustainable food choices. Picking foods that energize and reduce food we don’t need is a way to deal with personal food waste, and feel good at the same time.
Look Local:Clean, locally sourced ingredients are sought after not only for their nutritional value, but also for who the food impacts. Not only can you support your local food supplier, you can also know exactly where your food is coming from, and how it was sourced. To shop locally for ingredients, there are a few options depending on where you live. Farmers' markets are always a great way to secure fresh produce while also chatting with those who grew the food going to your table. Other popular options include CSAs, or Community Supported Agriculture, where you buy shares of food in advance. Finally, checking in at your locally run grocery stores can provide options for locally grown produce. Minimizing transportation costs and streamlining the food on your table is a great way to eat sustainably.
Make it Meatless:Meat production contributes to one-third of the world’s water usage. Livestock production is an extraordinary burden on the environment and oftentimes is not handled properly for healthy storage. While this does not mean cutting out meat entirely, sourcing other protein options can be a great and seamless way to eat sustainably. Even swapping one meal with meat for a plant-based option can slowly integrate sustainability into your food routine. Plants require much fewer resources and provide enormous health benefits to your diet. Of course, it is important to also consider how you will meet your dietary needs. Plants such as lentils, chickpeas, and pinto beans are all vegetables high in protein content, which can fulfill your daily needs. Being intentional with food choices in advance can help mark your way to sustainable eating.
Tips for Cooking More Sustainably
While choosing sustainable options to put on your table is an important step to reducing food waste, how you prepare and utilize your ingredients is also important. If you are buying locally sourced ingredients, but let them go to waste, it is still contributing to the food waste issue. Here are a few tips for cooking sustainably:
Utilize Everything:When cooking a meal, saving parts that are usually thrown away can be a quick and easy way to sustainably eat. Stems of vegetables or chicken bones can be utilized for broth instead of buying store-bought products.
Compost:Composting is a great way to protect the environment while also making fertilizer and preventing erosion. Utilizing any food scraps in cooking and making your own compost bin is a great way to sustainably cook.
Know Your Kitchen:It may seem obvious, but one of the easiest ways to cook more sustainably is to expand your cooking knowledge. Knowing how to utilize different ingredients so they don’t go to waste is a natural and seamless way to ensure nothing goes to waste. This ultimately will save money and provide healthy, wholesome options no matter what is in your kitchen.
Cooking and eating sustainably is an incredible way to bolster your health with intentional choices. Food should energize, excite, and ultimately help us and our communities. Knowing what products can support our health, while also helping to prevent waste are crucial for the health of our planet and each other. When looking for products that reduce waste and support health, collagen is one that comes to mind. Collagen, which supports joint health and protects mobility, is secured from parts of a cow that normally go to waste. This crucial protein that naturally occurs in our body and dwindles over time is sourced in a sustainable way. BUBS Naturals Collagen Protein Powder not only helps support health and healing, but minimizes cravings that may contribute to overconsumption. Finding products that support health and sustainably source are a key way to establish health not only for ourselves, but in our global community as well.