Sustainable nutrition – this is how it works
We eat three to five times a day. If you add up shopping, food storage and cooking, a lot of environmental emissions are created. Today we're talking about the basics of sustainable nutrition.
There's a lot that you can't see
We all know the picture: neatly lined up groceries on supermarket shelves. When you have the individual foods in front of you - fruit, vegetables, bread, sweets, ready meals, sauces, chilled goods, perhaps meat or fish - you only look at the end product. We quickly forget how many individual steps, how much time, how many ingredients and how many people had to do with the production of this food up to this point. (At this point a big, mental “thank you” to the people who plow fields, work in factories or transport goods from A to B every day!)☺️
All of these work steps create environmental emissions, energy and resources that are consumed. And all of this is no longer visible at the end, when the product is removed from the shopping bag and placed on the shelf in our home.
So food has a lot to do with the environment. To give at least a little something back to the environment, you can find out about the effects of food production and try to do some things differently. Of course, the end goal shouldn't be to stop eating at all. Nobody should ask others to become self-sufficient. But with one or two tricks and habits you can save a lot of resources and energy...
When purchasing fruit and vegetables, you should pay as much attention to seasonality and regionality as possible. If you buy goods that come from nearby, transport routes are saved. We now have particularly exotic fruit available all year round. So you can think about whether you really need a mango from the Caribbean in December...
Even at weekly markets it is worth asking where the food comes from.
Organic or fair trade food is produced with better conditions for the climate and/or workers. By the way, organic is not nearly as expensive as is often assumed. Almost every supermarket now has its “own” organic range, even if there are of course differences in the quality of the seals.
Regarding animal products such as eggs, milk or meat and fish, it is usually not the transport route that makes the most difference. The greatest impact on the climate here is the amount of concentrated feed and the resources needed to keep the animals. But regionality and organic quality also count here.
Of course, it's even better for the environment to avoid meat every now and then. There are a lot of meat alternatives made from soy or wheat, and many meat eaters are very positively surprised by their taste. It's worth trying!
One thing that, fortunately, more and more people are paying attention to is plastic consumption. Bringing your own shopping basket or bag saves resources and is next to no effort once you get used to it.
More and more manufacturers are trying to find alternatives to plastic as packaging material. Nevertheless, the motto here is: What is not bought will sooner or later be noticed by the manufacturer. Because in the end, demand determines supply. ☺️
When you get home, the correct storage determines the shelf life of the food.
A majority of the fresh products end up in the refrigerator. This has different cold zones. Particularly sensitive foods should be placed directly above or on the glass plate. It's the coldest here. Open canned goods, jam or leftover food still feel at home a little further up. And the vegetable compartment is not called a vegetable compartment for nothing: the six to eight degrees and the humidity conditions here are ideal for most types of vegetables and fruit.
Another little trick that can make a big difference: put completely fresh or long-lasting products in the back of the refrigerator. This ensures that nothing is forgotten and that things that can go bad more quickly are eaten first.
Did you know that you can save energy even when you boil water? At least I wasn't aware of it for a long time. If you heat the water in the kettle and then pour it into the pot to then cook pasta, for example, you save up to 80 percent compared to an electric stove!
You should also make sure that the pot fits correctly on the stovetop. Even with a difference of around two centimeters, the energy loss can be around 30%. If you put the lid on the pot or pan, you can turn the plate down a little with a clear conscience.
The best-before date should be viewed as a guideline (after all, it is called the MINIMUM best-before date and not the MAXIMUM best-before date 😋). You should definitely use your own senses here. If the product still looks, smells and tastes good, it can in most cases be consumed without any problems.
We still throw away far too much food. You can find tips for avoiding or reducing food waste here.
If you would like to learn more about healthy eating, mindfulness or sustainability, check out more exciting blog articles on these topics here .
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