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Tuesday 11th June 2019
It's not new news that we need to significantly reduce our environmental footprint in order to protect our planet and there are a few things we can all do to help. Here's my top tips when it comes to food and helping the environment too.
Consume less red meat. Its estimated that by 2050 we need to halve our red meat consumption globally to reduce carbon emissions. Beef has the biggest environmental footprint out of all meat products. Red and processed meat in large amounts is also not great for our health as it has links to colon cancer and also has a high level of saturated fat. Try to consume red meat (beef, lamb, pork, ham, bacon) just once a week. If you do consume it more than once aim for less than 500 grams a week. In food terms that could be 1 8oz steak, 4 slices of ham and one beef burger.
Include more plant based foods in your diet. Plants have a significantly lower environmental footprint that meat and most of us don't even reach our 5 a day. Which means we all have room for improvement
Each week try to eat one fruit or vegetable that you have never tried before, then make a list of the ones you like. Varying your plant food sources also encourages a variety of good bacteria to thrive in your gut/tummy.
Set a target of consuming 30 different plant based foods a week. This isn't just fruit and veg but anything from plants.
Dairy products are a powerhouse of nutrients. They contain protein for growing muscles, iodine for metabolism and brain development and are great for hydration too, however we do consume too much. According to a study conducted in 2018, compared to almond, rice, soy or oat drinks, just one 200ml glass of cows milk has the highest environmental impact. This covers land and water use and emissions. It's worth experimenting with plant drinks like coconut, oat and cashew milk. It's not advisable to remove dairy from your diet completely, unless you have an allergy or intolerance but you could split your intake 50/50.
Food waste. Do you have a compost or a food waste bin? If not then ask your parents to buy one or get one from your local council. The majority of food waste in the UK comes from the home, in 2012 that was 7 million tonnes. Basically, we buy too much food and throw a lot of it away. So compost, freeze or even take to a local food bank.
And finally, don't buy bottled water make sure you always have a reusable/refillable bottle with you. And if you forget it, that's no excuse to buy a bottle, that's just bad luck for you!
For more eco tips - check out my Instagram page and also drop me line with any of yours too!