Our Green Blogger joins us this month to discuss an overview of the concept of “sustainable foods”, give examples, and highlight Certified Green Restaurants® that have integrated a large amount of vegan and vegetarian options into their menus.
Eating Low: Sustainable Foods With Low Environmental Impact
With December being such a heavy “eating” month for so many of us, here are some fun and easy tips of how to take care of the planet while enjoying good food and good times.
First, when dining out, find a Certified Green Restaurant® that is either a close drive… or walkable… or reachable by good public transportation. Lowering your carbon footprint of how you get to the restaurant is a major way in which you can improve your environmental impact.
Whether eating at home or dining out, you can incorporate the following:
1. Eat Low on Food Chain
Eat as low on the food chain as you enjoy. Chicken has a lower environmental impact than beef. Vegetarian has a lower impact than animal products. Vegan foods have even a lower environmental impact. The lower you go, the less CO2 emissions and pollution associated with the food production. Although Bill Clinton, Howard Stern, and Ozzy Osbourne recently went vegan, you don’t need to be vegetarian to lower your environmental impact. Choosing once per week to have a food that is a bit lower on the food chain can go a long way towards improving the environmental impact of our food choices.
2. Sustainable Fish
If you are eating fish, choose low/no mercury fish that are in plentiful supply. Choose the following resources to find the most sustainable fish when dining out: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx; http://www.blueocean.org/seafood/seafood-guide
This is especially important for women of child-bearing age.
3. Food Portion
Most of us have bigger eyes than stomachs. Choose the food that both excites you and is good for you. Eating the amount that your body wants will leave you feeling better and therefore having enjoyed your meal more; not only is it good for us to have the right portion, but it is also good for the planet. The restaurant industry is notorious for throwing away tens of millions of pounds of food each year. So, when you order too much, that food is often wasted and sent to the landfill. So, enjoy your meal, and order the right amount. Lighter on the planet can also mean lighter on your wallet.
Courtesy of Michael Oshman, CEO of Green Restaurant Assoication (GRA)
For more information visit www.dinegreen.com