We have heard scary reports of how the environment in which we live is changing, but “romaine” calm; there is still hope for a healthy planet! There are some small changes we all can make to help! While we’re at it, there’s always hope for a healthier you, too, so let’s get started!
Why Should I Care About Being Green?
Being conscious of how our actions impact the environment helps connect us to the planet we call home as well as prepare for a healthy future for ourselves and our loved ones. There was a recent report of the methane gas produced by food waste decomposing in our landfills; this greenhouse gas can contribute to global warming. While the EPA is working on strategies to measure, trap, and treat these gas emissions to use them for more positive things such as renewable energy, there is room to improve our food waste and environmental impact. Many of the things that can help us accomplish this will also serve to promote good health.
How Can I Make Small Changes?
- Recycle…. food!
We all know that recycling our trash helps to better the environment, but did you know you can apply this same principle to your food? Try cooking extra portions of foods that can be safely re-used in the day or two after. For instance, you can cook some extra meat at dinner, save it in the fridge, and cut it up for a different dish tomorrow, which saves time and keeps you on track with your healthy diet plan. Instead of boring leftovers going to the trash, use leftover grilled chicken from last night’s dinner to make today’s stir fry or salad. Mix it up to keep it fresh!
- Shop right!
We need to make a list and shop reasonably. It is all too easy to buy too much of something or buy things that don’t go well together and waste food that cannot get used before going bad. Think ahead. We know this takes time to sit down and plan a meal pattern for the week, but it will save you time and even money in the long run! Buy the right amounts, even if it means shopping more often. Get only what you need on your list, and know how to store your foods.
- Store food properly.
Along with buying the right amounts to prevent waste, storing food is very important! If you know you will have chicken one night and beef several days later, you can freeze the beef so it is fresh and safe when you are ready to cook it instead of wasting it and adding it to the landfills. We’ve all heard that proper planning prevents poor performance, but it also prevents poor health (not as catchy, but equally true!). We love the tip to stock on those delicious summer berries while they are in season and more budget-friendly; wash and freeze them for later use! It’s a “berry” good idea; frozen fruits and vegetables can last 6 months to a year when stored properly in the freezer!
For More information, please refer to this great infographic from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: https://www.eatright.org/homefoodsafety/multimedia/infographics/reducing-food-waste-infographic
Try one or more of these and “lettuce” know what you think!