Making The “Green” Choice For Your Health and the Environment

By on November 13, 2013
Seattle Pike Place Market

Guest post by Jennifer Stinson, freelancer for EverydayHealth.com and its recipe and calorie counter tools.

Are you trying to make better food choices to nourish your body? Are you concerned about how our food is grown and produced and how it impacts the environment? The two really do go hand in hand. Choosing healthy food for your body intersects closely with making better choices for the planet. Here are some options to consider when doing your weekly shopping:

Eat what is in season

When you choose foods that are in season, you not only pay less, but you get a food that tastes better and has less of an impact on the environment. Foods traveling from around the world to your plate lose flavor and nutrients in the storage process. Varying your diet based on the season also leads to consuming a variety of nutrients through out the year. Eat Well Guide has a wonderful website dedicated to discovering what is in season in your area of the country.

Eat what is local

Local foods don’t have to travel as far to get to your plate, reducing fossil fuels for transportation, storage, food processing and preparation. On average, most produce travels 1,500 miles from farm to table. This means produce typically has to be picked before it is ripe in order to make it through the seven to fourteen days it needs to spend traveling to your local grocery store. Produce that has been allowed to ripen on the vine actually contains more nutrients than those that have been picked early and ripened artificially in a warehouse. Seek out your local farmer’s markets and get tastier, more nutritious produce. Many farmer’s markets and farm stores are open year round and offer choices like greenhouse tomatoes, kale, kohlrabi, and root vegetables – even in the winter.

Eat meat less often

Vegetarian sources of protein typically have less of an impact on the environment. It takes a lot of fossil fuel, not to mention fertilizers and antibiotics, to raise cows, chickens and even farmed fish. These practices are taking their toll on our planet. From the greenhouse gasses to the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” to rotting of the ocean floor as a result of fish farms, it makes sense to reduce your meat consumption.

Aside from helping lessen the negative impact on the environment, choosing to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle and even cutting out meat occasionally from your diet can help decrease your risks for developing harmful diseases and health conditions later in life, according to Everyday Health.

EverydayHealth.com

Vegetarian Diet

Forget prepackaged foods

The single serve craze has really gotten out of hand. You can buy practically anything in a package that serves just one. This adds up to a huge amount of waste each day that could easily be avoided. Buying in bulk greatly reduces packaging waste, as well as saves you money in the long run. The next time you think about grabbing a single serve package, take a second to think about the environment instead.

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Making The “Green” Choice For Your Health and the Environment