Malnutrition-related deaths make us cringe with fear and sympathy dwelling on our state of life. Human lives are lost owing to inadequate food resources but almost 60% of biodiversity loss worldwide is due to our food system. One side we keep complaining of hunger and on another side we keep depleting available resources in the name of agriculture. None can be ignorant of the fact that almost 71% of our Earth is covered by water. Almost 70% of freshwater from lakes and rivers is utilized for agriculture for which most of the forest lands are cleared after all. Complains are constantly raised for converting green spaces into buildings that prove the mettle of fine engineering to accommodate the growing population providing them with houses. But none care about the rise in food needs that require more and more of agricultural land, use of water and release of much carbon dioxide into atmosphere to meet increasing meat and dairy needs. Food is responsible for nearly 20-30% of greenhouse gas emission globally and with growing food requirements these numbers are sure to grow affecting the entire environment and climate globally.
Well-aware of the basic needs for survival-food, shelter and clothing-there is no scope for decreased food production nor is there any chances of surviving without eating. The only smart way is to design a sustainable diet for people across age groups which helps us meet our nutritional requirements as well as save our planet from further damage. Follow these tips given below to eat more sustainably:
Be More Plant-friendly: Earlier, many individuals used to vegetarian style of eating started following a non-vegetarian-based diet for its taste and nutrients. One has always been doubtful of satisfying various nutrition needs from a vegetarian-based diet plan. Now, the reverse is becoming true. People are frantically hopping over to a vegan/vegetarian diet plan. Yes, a vegetarian diet mainly focused on vegetables, beans and nuts is the need of the hour. We can always refer to Asian cuisines and the Mediterranean diet too for tips on preparing different veggie-based salads, pasta, stews and rice varieties too.
Choose differently: Rather than sticking to your chicken and rice every day of the week for lunch start exploring new dishes and expanding your taste buds. It is always recommended to add colors to your plate to add various nutrients to your body. Choosing rainbow-colored fruits and veggies make your meal more tasty, flavorful and healthy.
Empty the bin: Shopping is relaxing and pleasurable. But it shouldn’t be that we directly shop for something and drop the things we bought right into the bin after a while. Sadly, that’s what we all do. We overstock our cabinets, refrigerators and finally our tummies too throwing away a quarter of what we purchased owing to various reasons. Its like simply dumping natural resources and our hard-earned money into the gutter. Waste less food.
Beat the Meat Mania: It all started sometime back when people became over-ambitious wanting to grow muscles in a week or so. These guys started eating chicken regularly to fulfill their protein needs and the world followed suit. Eating less chicken in no way asks you to compromise on your proteins. There are other healthy and sustainable alternatives to chicken available in different plant sources. Change the mindset and explore plant-based protein food options available at www.firsteatright.com to contribute towards a sustainable community.
Decrease your Salt & Sugar intake: There are no surprise elements here and as all of us know, the less of salt, fat and sugar we consume, better it is for our health and well-being.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.