TEST TIDBITS: CAN A CHANGE IN DIET HELP THE ENVIRONMENT?
According to a recent article in Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter (August 2019), the answer is yes. Researchers from 16 different countries working on a commission exploring cause and effects of different diets on our changing climate, our land use practices, our water usage, our fertilizer usage and pesticide and herbicide usage. They produced a report in Lancet Magazine in Jan. 2019, that basically said that, a diet that contained more un or less refined grain products, more varieties of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and plant based unsaturated oils was good for the planet and good for personal health. Their diet also recommended being very deliberate in choosing sustainable sourced fish, dairy and poultry and greatly reducing red meat and added sugars. For most of us this might mean doubling our intake of vegetables, fruits and legumes while cutting our meat consumption and added sugars in half! Three ounces of red meat per week was suggested! It will take a bit of work for “meat lovers” to get to that recommendation. However, it can be done gradually (and missed less) as we begin to increase the portions of vegetables and fruits that cover our plates. The use of smaller plates will psychologically make one feel as full as if you had eaten all food on a larger plate. Choose different colors of fruits and vegetables and learn to use spices and herbs to add flavors. Eliminating sugar filled drinks and fruit juices (eat the fruit instead) and watching food labels (look at condiments, especially) will help reduce added sugar. Don’t forget to reduce food waste. Have fun making meal plans, shop to fit the plans, store food wisely and eat food mindfully. Your meal plan should include use of leftovers. If you do have some waste, consider composting. For more hints on storage go to www.SaveTheFood.com You are in control of your diet. Get healthy and help the planet at the same time.
Earth Steward Action: Begin with making a meal plan for the next week.