If you were ever interested in ecology, you know the terms like carbon footprint, global warming and so on. You also know that 70% of those problems are created by the factories and big companies, whose work ethic leaves a lot to be desired. You’ve probably heard about recycling, eco driving and so on, but, did you know that you can help the climate also by eating?
Choosing what and how we eat can have enormous consequences on our environment and state of the world as a whole.
Food and environment
According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN’s information, humanity wastes between 25-30% of all produced food. Different to other pollutions, the majority of that wasted food in developed countries like comes from households. From more local numbers, it’s over six millions tonnes of food in the UK that lands in trash bin. Any person living in a city like Bristol or Winchester, for example, will waste around 70 kg of food each year.
Why we throw it away?
For most, it’s because we don’t manage our food correctly. We don’t plan our meals, instead impulse buying what seems attractive, and then forgetting we have it in our fridge, throwing it away once the date on the package expired. 28% of agriculture lands are used for food that will be wasted.
What can we do?
As stated previously, those lands are most likely managed by the giant food companies. However, those companies produce food which then goes to waste, because we want to buy it.
Have you ever checked how much you spend on food? The costs of eating – both at home and out – can take as much as one third of middle-class family’s budget. Now, have you ever checked how much of that money you throw away?
Deciding on a shopping list before you leave to the market is the first step to changing the amount of food wasted. If you’re unsure if you included everything in the list, or are an occasion-hunter, just add one or two „free slots” to it. Having awareness of buying two things that weren’t written down makes it easier to remember you have them, and including them in your plans for dinner.
Second step is planning your diet.
Make a list of meals and snacks you want to buy food for. You can include a dinner on town, or a surprise takeout as a reward to yourself. Your wallet will be able to afford it now, with lowered receipts for food!
Finally, you can… lower your meat intake.
You don’t have to cut it out completely, it’s enough to change your eating habits to have meat, say, three times a week, instead of every day. It will considerably lower your shopping expenses, too. You can replace those meals with meals rich in vegetables, like curry (use those old veggies you have in the fridge, while at it!).
Lower need for meat will result in shrinking of the meat-farms, improving treatment of animals bred there, quality of meat they produce, and also lessening their invasive influence on the environment.
If you feel you don’t have enough cooking inspiration for such change in your diet, why not visit vegan or vegetarian restaurant? Vegefoodie has restaurants in Bristol, Winchester and Southampton, for example, and rich menu that can inspire your own culinary journey. With lowered food costs, you will be able to afford going to a restaurant and enjoying a meal you won’t need to prepare, and the best part – you will not have to feel guilty about wasting your food!