Conscious Cuisine: Making Earth Friendly Food Choices

Conscious Cuisine: Making Earth Friendly Food Choices- Written for The Walleye

By Ashley Priem, Co-Executive Director, EcoSuperior

I'm sure by now that you have heard that the food we consume has a massive impact on our planet. Agriculture takes up half of the habitable land on Earth, destroys forests and other ecosystems and produces a quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Meat and dairy specifically account for around 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. So, changing what we eat can help reduce carbon emissions and there are several ways to make your diet more “climate-friendly”.

A plant-based diet plan minimizes or excludes meat, poultry, eggs, fish, seafood and dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, butter, and ice cream made from animal milk.  Plant-based diets typically include an array of fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), grains, nuts, and seeds. You can ease into the switch by eating plant-based meals Monday through Friday. If you need some inspiration, look online for vegan and vegetarian recipes.

Substitute your meat products, don't just eliminate them. There are many plant-based meat alternatives for chicken, burgers, and sausages. Or try making your own burgers with lentils or beans. Lentils and walnuts make a great taco filling and jack fruit, or tofu, are great ways to replace the meat in your favourite chili and pasta recipes. The non-dairy versions of milk, ice cream, and cheese are limitless and tasty!

When frying food, it's easy to switch out butter for vegan butter or margarine or use olive oil instead. If you're a baker, it's easy to find recipes that don't include dairy or eggs. Applesauce and ground flax make excellent egg substitutes without compromising taste. 

No need to fret over not getting enough protein. Excellent plant-based sources of protein include beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy foods; certain grains and legume-based pastas; even fruits and vegetables contribute a small amount.

Growing up most of us were taught that cow's milk is necessary for our calcium needs but many plant-based foods naturally contain calcium. These include dark leafy greens like kale, collard greens, and spinach, as well as broccoli, oranges, and almonds.

Make plant-based eating work for you by intentionally designing a plan that meets your needs and preferences. Switching to a more plant-based diet is an excellent way to build a healthy future for people and the planet!



Posted in Read More by on 3/4/2024 2:21:58 PM
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