Your Guide To Eating More Sustainably In 2022
Whether you're knee-deep in Veganuary or dipping your toes into eating a more sustainable diet, you're here because you want to eat less meat and lessen your impact on the planet. If you've looked at going meat-free it can often feel like the only option is yet another veggie burger. We've got some perfect ways to eat more sustainably without making mealtime boring.
It's not all about reducing your meat intake for a start. Reducing your plastic packaging, buying local produce and choosing foods that are pesticide-free. While much of eating sustainably is what we eat it's also about how that food is produced.
There are so many ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint via the food you eat. We take a look at some of the easiest ways to suit you and your lifestyle.
Reducing Your Food Waste
Reducing your food waste is one of the biggest impacts you can have on the health of the planet. With a little planning, it's really quite easy to make big changes.
1. Plan your meals in advance. Not only will you be saving on food waste, you'll be saving the money in your pocket too.
2. Have "eat me first food" and make sure everyone in your household knows what foods need to be eaten first.
3. Use your leftovers. A quick online search can provide amazing inspiration for leftover recipes.
Eat Seasonal Foods
If food is availably beyond its usual growing season it probably means it has a fairly high carbon footprint. It's likely that it will have been shipped from overseas or grown in huge greenhouses that require heating and lighting.
If you're not sure exactly what's in season on not, you can find seasonal calendars online or if you order an organic fruit and veg box, whatever it contains will only be foods that are in season.
Reduce Your Plastic Use
Reducing your use of plastic can feel a little overwhelming. Let's face the stuff is everywhere. The easiest way to reduce your use is bit by bit. Start with the obvious like single-use plastic bottles then move on to other areas of your home.
When it comes to food packaging it's often hard to avoid. Thankfully supermarkets are reducing plastic packaging and have paper alternatives on more products including pasta and porridge.
A super easy way of reducing your plastic waste is by getting a fruit and veg box. Either ask your local greengrocer or there are loads of companies online that deliver to your door.
Zero waste shops are popping up on high streets across the UK and are a fabulous way to reduce hour plastic use and cut down on waste. Simply take your containers and buy as much or as little as you need. We have an in-depth blog on Zero Waste Shopping.
Eat More Plants
Now I'm in no way suggesting that you should turn 100% Vegan overnight. There are so many ways you can reduce your meat and animal derived products intake without cutting them out altogether. I for one, couldn't dream of life without cake!
Plants, pulses and beans can all be included to give you a tasty meal that contains all the protein, vitamins and minerals your body needs. Here's some easy ways you can up your intake of these 3 tasty foodstuffs.
1. Reduce the meat and swap some of it out in things like stews, casseroles, chilli and bolognaise. Lentils make great alternatives to meat in these types of meals.
2. Try 1 day a week without any meat. You've probably heard of "meat free Monday" but any day of the week that suits you is a good day to go meat free.
3. Mushrooms make the perfect, filling meal and still provide that meaty taste that makes meals so tasty. Many varieties are bursting with health boosting properties too.
Choose Organic Food
Fewer pesticides mean better soil health. This means that less fertiliser is needed, greater biodiversity, as well as more carbon sequestered into the soil. Organic foods and drinks are traditionally more expensive but even just swapping out parts of your normal diet with organic produce can have a big impact.
1. Go half and half with your milk. If you normally use 2 pints a week, choose 1 pint of normal milk and 1 pint of organic.
2. Choose one item per week to swap to organic. It doesn't have to be the same thing each week, try different items and see which versions you prefer.
3. At the risk of sounding like I have shares in them, get a fruit and veg box.
What sustainable eating tips have you got? Share them in the comments.