Top 5 Foods That Will Save the Planet!
Yes, recycling is eco-friendly, and so is walking to work. We’ve all heard about the negative effects of eating meat. But, what else can we be doing to help out the planet?
It’s important that we look at diets when considering our eco-footprint. After all, food is the one thing we all have to consume. So, it makes a difference if we’re able to get into good, environmentally-friendly eating habits where we can.
In general, we should eat local and organic food.
If produce is local, that means it’s travelled fewer air miles to get to where you eat it. Of course, this sometimes means we won’t have as much selection as certain foods can’t grow everywhere. However, this inconvenience is a small price to pay compared to the damage we’re currently doing to our environment.
When food is organic, it hasn’t been grown with harmful, man-made pesticides and fertilisers which run-off into our water systems. Instead, organic produce relies on natural techniques to make crops prosper. In most cases, organic food is also considered healthier as it’s more natural.
Food waste is another huge problem we can all do something about. Approximately a third of all food never gets eaten. So, stop yourself from becoming complacent. Don’t shy away from your leftovers and make good use of your freezer. It’s important that we take food waste seriously!
Now, let’s dive into our list of the top 5 foods that will save the planet. Start incorporating them into your diet today. Bon appetite!
Lentils are the first food on our list, and for more than one reason. Yes, lentils might seem a bit boring. But, they have many shining qualities which mean they should be on your weekly shopping list!
To start, their carbon footprint is 43 times less than beef! That is shocking. They also require little water to grow. So, whether it be a lentil bolognese or a beautiful moussaka, you can cook guilt-free.
Lentils are also super nutritional and ridiculously cheap! They’re high in protein, full of fibre, and have all the magnesium to keep your stress levels low. In fact, a whole variety of pulses are good for both you and the environment. Try them out!
Next on our list of foods that will save the planet is the humble tomato. Tomatoes feature in so many dishes, especially those from the Mediterranean. And, luckily enough, they’re eco-friendly to grow!
Per kilogram of tomatoes, only 1.1kg of CO2 is emitted in the cultivation process. This is nothing compared to other food products.
Another brilliant thing about tomatoes is that they’re easy to grow. So, why not buy a plant and start growing your own? Growing and harvesting food is a great way to have more respect for the agricultural process. And, you even get a new hobby in the process. Now that really is local produce!
Does this entry feel like a surprise to you?
You may have thought you had to kiss fish goodbye… ew! Think again. A recent study found that rope-grown mussels have a carbon footprint of only 0.25kg per kilograms of mussels harvested. That equates to 0.6kg of carbon dioxide per kilogram of mussel meat.
By growing mussels from ropes cast into the ocean, mussel’s effect on the environment is minimal. They feed off naturally occurring matter in the ocean and even extract carbon from the water to create their shells! It sounds too good to be true.
Also, rope-grown mussels are easy to harvest as fishers know exactly where the ropes are. No boat fuel is wasted waiting for fish to catch the line. So, mussels are definitely your best bet if you want to continue eating animal products and be kind to the environment.
If you want to have a taste of the sea without eating a little creature, then try seaweed!
There are a few edible varieties, some of which are even considered delicacies. Laverbread, for example, is a type of seaweed traditionally harvested in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. It is referred to as Welsh caviar! Seaweed is also popular in some Asian cooking. Nori, the wrap around sushi, is also made from shredded seaweed!
But, is it good for the environment? The answer is yes! As oceans cover half our planet but account for little of our food, taking to water to cultivate is no bad idea. Seaweed is even said to absorb around 20% more carbon dioxide than it produces. It also has a range of health benefits and naturally occurs in many places without being tended to. Seaweed is a true superfood!
The reasons why some food is more environmentally friendly than others can be really surprising. Broccoli has made it to this list as it contains natural pesticides which protect it from being eaten by insects and animals. A vegetable with its own security system! This means that fewer pesticides have to be used to help it grow.
As broccoli is a hardy vegetable, it also has a better chance of surviving until it is harvested. Just take a moment to compare broccoli to salad leaves. They have short sell-by dates and often end up a bit slimy before you get the chance to eat them; not very appetising! Broccoli, on the other hand, is easy to transport and lasts much longer once they’re on the shelf. Less waste and the planet is happier.
That was our list of the top 5 foods that will save the planet! Take a look at our other articles on the theme of sustainability for tips on how to live a more eco-aware life!
Environmental impact creeps into more aspects of our lives than we’re aware of. However, once we start taking notice of the food we eat, and not just for its nutritional value, we’ll be well on our way to a healthier planet.
Browse our botanical posters now!
Here at Project Nord, we make sure that we think of our environmental impact.
So, why not add one of our sustainable posters to your eco kitchen? We have lots of designs which fit with a culinary theme. Also, did you know that the colour orange supports appetite according to colour theory? Give it a go!
Written by Jessica Slater
Images sourced from Pintrest and Upsplash.