Practicing Sustainable Nutrition Habits

Co-written By: Alyssa Costantino

Embracing sustainable nutrition is a mindset that nourishes both our bodies and the planet we call home. Now more than ever, we are concerned about reducing our carbon footprint and practicing environmentally friendly nutrition habits. As we navigate towards a more conscious way of living, adopting sustainable nutrition habits becomes essential for our wellbeing and the health of the planet.

Impact of Nutrition on the Environment:

  • Animal Agriculture:
    • Animal agriculture is a major contributor towards greenhouse gas emissions, with livestock (specifically cattle) production accounting for over 10% of global methane and nitrous oxide emissions.
    • Plant based diets have been shown to have a lower environmental impact requiring less land, water, and energy in comparison to animal based diets
  • Food Mileage and local sourcing:
    • The distance food travels from farm to plate (also known as food miles) contributes to carbon emissions through transportation.
    • Choosing locally sourced produce and supporting farmer’s markets reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation.
  • Food production practices:
    • The methods used in food production (such as farming techniques and land use) can have varying impacts on carbon emissions
    • Sustainable farming practices such as organic farming, agroforestry, and regenerative agriculture prioritize soil health and biodiversity, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the environment.
  • Packaging and food waste:
    Did you know that nearly ⅓ of all food produced worldwide is wasted?
    • The packaging of food products and management of food waste also contributes to carbon emissions along with waste accumulation.
    • Choosing products with minimal packaging, opting for reusable containers, and finding new ways to repurpose your leftovers can reduce waste and associated emissions.

Use the following tips to incorporate sustainable nutrition habits into your daily routine.

  • Practicing Mindful Consumption:
    • Mindful consumption is the core of sustainable nutrition. It’s about being aware of where your food comes from, how it is produced, and its impact on the environment.By choosing locally sourced, organic, and seasonal produce, we are able to not only reduce our carbon footprint but also support our local farmers and foster a deeper connection to our food system.
  • Eating Plant Based, Whole Foods:
    • The staples of a nutritious diet that supports your health also supports the environment! By incorporating more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains into our meals, we not only improve our health but also reduce the strain of food production on natural resources.
  • Reducing Food Waste:
    • Minimizing food waste through proper storage, meal planning, and composting prevents biodegradable materials from ending up in landfills where they release methane into the atmosphere.

By considering the carbon footprint of our food choices and adopting sustainable nutrition habits, we can play a significant role in mitigating climate change and creating a more resilient and sustainable food system for future generations.

Make the mindful choice!

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