September 2021 5 Ways to be More Sustainable with your Diet
By Madeline Stachel
By the year 2050, our planet will be home to another 2 billion people, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF). That is a lot of people to feed! Our food choices today will affect Earth’s ability to provide for future populations. Sustainable farming and eating is the answer- what can you do about it?
How is our food related to sustainability?
Sustainability is a common term, but what exactly does it mean and how does it affect you? Simply put, it is the practice of choosing foods that support human and environmental health without negatively affecting future generations. What you eat matters for your health and the welfare of others. When you choose to purchase and eat certain foods, you are supporting specific farming practices. Some farming practices are more sustainable than others. So by choosing foods from farms that honor sustainability, you are doing your part to protect Earth’s resources.
Why does making sustainable food choices matter?
Sustainable farming is critical for conserving the land for future generations. If land becomes unusable to farm, more land will need to be created, which can lead to the destruction of forests. Water, soil and air pollution from chemicals and greenhouse gases can also harm the environment and contribute to climate change. Although sustainability seems like a far-reaching large-scale issue, you can play your part by being thoughtful of what you put on your plate.
5 ways to be more sustainable with your diet
- Eat more plant-based meals! Meat production produces more greenhouse gases than plant production. Plant-based foods are easier on the environment. Check out our “Bite by Bite: Taking Steps Toward a More Plant-Forward Diet” blog post to get more ideas for plant-forward meals.
- Shop local for in-season produce to support your community. You can find in-season produce at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Buying local can ensure you are getting fresh, in-season produce that required less resources to ship long distances. Shopping local also allows you to develop relationships with local farmers.
- Cut Waste! Check out another one of our blogs “7 Tips to Reduce Food Waste” for helpful tips to reduce food waste. It is surprising how many things you can do! Purchasing reusable grocery bags is another small step you can take to reduce waste.
- Try to grow your own produce! Being able to see and experience the process of growing produce can help you understand the factors that go in to growing produce on a larger scale. Start small! Try to grow an herb you use frequently such as basil, or one produce plant such as tomatoes.
- Start the conversation! Talk about sustainability with your local community, family, and friends to help make them aware. You could do this by inviting your family or friends to go shopping with you at a local grocery store or farmer’s market. Reusable grocery bags and water bottles can make also make great gifts and provide a moment to teach someone why they are beneficial.
Get to know our author:
Stachel is currently a Dietetic intern with the University of Northern Colorado. Originally, she is from Ohio but had always wanted to move to Colorado. She is interested in nutritional counseling within the field of dietetics. Living in Fort Collins near CSU, she knew KRNC would be a great opportunity to learn more. She is also currently passionate about sustainability within the food world and enjoys educating others.”
For additional resources for healthy eating, check out these programs from our registered dietitian nutritionists. Find delicious and healthy recipes on our Recipes page! More health tips are also available at the College of Health and Human Sciences Pinterest board. Lastly, don’t forget to sign up for the KRNC monthly newsletter!