Eating for climate change

by Khushboo on December 5, 2016

We all have our individual reasons for cleaning up our eating habits.  For most of us, our diet is something that we do for ourselves. Although not limited, these motives often include losing weight, increasing fitness levels, improving a health condition, boosting energy levels, improving fertility and eliminating acne.  Of course this list is far longer but ultimately our diets tend to be fuelled by individualistic reasons.  

Although I’ve been due to blog about my current eating habits for a while, I will say that I’ve started to approach it in a way that spans beyond benefitting my own life.  Far from perfect, I’m consciously trying to eat in a more sustainable manner.  Over the weekend, I finally watched Leonardo DiCaprio’s Beyond the Flood documentary on climate change and was shocked to say the least.

The direction our world is headed if we don't do something about it...

The direction our world is headed if we don’t do something about it…

Source

The term ‘global warming’ has been thrown around for the past few years and it’s something that we are all aware about to some degree. Maybe it’s just me but I always just shoved it in the back of my mind with those other thoughts that ‘you know exist but it’s probably not that big of a deal’. After seeing the shocking reality & hard facts so clearly portrayed in his documentary, I am more motivated than ever to try and eat in a way that fuels me optimally yet also helps preserve the environment.  It seems almost laughable to think that our own efforts can really make a difference to climate change but what if we all took responsibility and did our small bit for the environment? Even a 10% shift from each one of us would undoubtedly add up to some incredible results!  There are so many ways to go about doing so, but here are a few starting points: 

  • Reduce meat intake (especially red meat): Animal suffering aside, raising animals for foods requires massive amounts of land, food, energy and water.  Beyond the Flood showed that a ½ – pound beef burger is as damaging to the environment as an air conditioner being run for 24 hours- crazy! While I still do enjoy meat, I try to limit my intake to a couple of meals a week when I’m eating out rather than bi-daily as I once did.
  • Eat local to reduce the amount of travel miles required.  Food that travels shorter distances also doesn’t burn as much fossil fuel as food traveling to you via airplanes, ships, and trucks.  This simple switch can easily slash your carbon footprint. 
  • Eat seasonal to naturally support local produce & local farming.
Buddha bowl (tofu:peanut sauce)

Buddha Bowl

  • Buy in bulk as it translates in less packaging waste…plus it works out cheaper in the long term so it’s really a win-win if you ask me!
  • Invest in a refillable water bottle (preferably one that’s BPA free): Although buying bottled water on-the-go is often more convenient, using a reusable water bottle almost instantly reduces the amount of fossil fuels and toxins released into the air during production. This also applies to reusable food storage containers. 
  • Grocery shop with your own carrier bags: I recently read that England’s plastic bag usage by shoppers dropped by 85% since the introduction of the 5p charge in October 2015 (Source). 
  • Eat, donate or repurpose leftovers: Ultimately it boils down to valuing food and realising that so much energy and resources go into producing, storing transporting and delivering food.  From bread to cereal, tomato puree, soup, bean burgers, baked goods, stews and more, I find that the easiest way to avoid food from going bad is to stick it in the freezer. 

We live in such a beautiful world and maybe rather than Instagram & Snapchat it, let’s focus on making sure it lasts for generations to come. 

Have you seen Beyond the Flood? Thoughts?

How do you eat for climate change?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

dixya @food, pleasure, and health December 5, 2016 at 9:42 pm

thank you for the recommendation on that documentary, i will definitely check it out. i do some of the things you listed above but i could certainly do so much better.

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Khushboo December 8, 2016 at 10:52 am

We all could but any positive changes is certainly a step in the right direction!

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salma December 6, 2016 at 12:43 am

The buddha bowl looks really good. I haven’t seen beyond the flood but I will check it out. Right now I’m watching Forks over Knives

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Khushboo December 8, 2016 at 10:52 am

That has been on my list to watch for ages- how did you like it?

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Chelsea A December 6, 2016 at 7:00 am

Love all of these tips! These are all things I try to do as well. It’s crazy that more people don’t consider all the food they waste – it’s not only better for the environment, but better for our wallets too!

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Khushboo December 8, 2016 at 10:53 am

Especially since moving to Mumbai and seeing such levels of poverty, I’m even more careful about avoiding food waste!

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Tara @ Sweat like a Pig December 6, 2016 at 7:49 am

France has a 10c carrier bag charge too and I really think it makes a huge difference! I’m in Australia at the mo and they don’t have a charge and it’s crazy to see how wasteful people are, especially considering how strongly we are feeling the effects of climate change (37 degrees for a week in November, hello!). Great job on raising awareness about this issue, Khushboo!

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Khushboo December 8, 2016 at 10:54 am

Thanks Tara! As great as it might sound for it to be scorching hot in winter, the implications are almost scary!

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Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar December 12, 2016 at 9:59 am

These are wonderful tips–I agree with what you’re saying that whether we’re eating for our health or our weight or eating intuitively, we still tend to be eating in a way that’s pretty selfish, not thinking enough about the environmental consequences of what we eat. I think I’ll share this on my monthly link round-up!

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Khushboo December 12, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Thanks so much Joyce, both for your comment and featuring my link in your round-up post!

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