World Food Day is October 16, and its global mission couldn’t be more critical: better nutrition, zero hunger, and sustainable choices we can make not only to live healthier but also help the planet just to name a few.
The call for action is to make healthy and sustainable diets available and affordable to everyone. The combination of an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle causes obesity for populations everywhere- even in areas where poverty is rampant. With over 670 million adults and 120 million children on the planet right now who are obese- spreading the word about a healthy diet is so important.
A balanced, sustainable diet is not just important for human health and vitality. The environmental impact of the foods we choose to eat has far-reaching consequences, as well. Some foods require more natural resources to produce them, such as water. Also, foods that have excessive amounts of packaging impact the health of the environment negatively.
There are many sustainable choices you can make at home to live healthier, and help the planet:
- Support biodiversity- diversify your diet
Add traditional, locally grown, and seasonal foods. Search up some recipes to cook using these ingredients, and take the time to learn about their nutritional values.
– But especially fish that are more abundant, rather than those at risk of being overfished. Fish is an indispensable source of vitamins, minerals, protein, and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids you can’t easily find in staple foods. You can also buy fish that have been caught or farmed sustainably, such as eco-labeled or certified fish.
- Keep your food stored properly
Storing your food appropriately helps to keep it safe, fresh, and help save nutrients. Shift older products to the front and newer products to the back of cupboards or the fridge after a trip to the market to restock. Close boxes and packets to keep them from spoiling, and use air-tight containers help to keep food fresh in the refrigerator.
Both are excellent sources of plant-based protein. Legumes are also usually cheaper than animal proteins and are easier on our planet.
- Quiet your inner carnivore
Try to limit your consumption (or go vegetarian entirely) of meats and other animal-sourced products such as eggs, cheese, and milk. They require more natural resources and create more byproduct that is harmful to the environment. Also, limit your intake of saturated fats, they’re animal-sourced, too.
Industrially processed foods and drinks are just that: industrially processed. This means the manufacture of these foods is most likely not eco-friendly.
Taking the leap to maintain a healthier, more sustainable diet and lifestyle can be difficult. Our hectic lifestyles and stress don’t always lend itself to making the best choices, but once we get into the habit of choosing healthy and eco-friendly, it makes a world of difference.
For more information, visit: http://www.fao.org/world-food-day