The concept of sustainable nutrition has become increasingly urgent and necessary in recent years when many have become aware of the importance that this segment can play for the present and the future of humanity by increasing the quality of what ends up on the plate, but at the same time having tremendous respect for nature and the environment.
In the 1980s, global movements were born to combat the “globalization” of food production, mass-produced foods that ultimately did not improve the quality of life and, at the same time, did not lead to improvements in the nutritional field. Unfortunately, these currents have not succeeded in modifying the system, so much so that today we are witnessing a dizzying and superhuman increase in the intensification of the industrialization of cultivation and breeding methods.
Definition Of Sustainable Nutrition, The Intrinsic Meaning
The basis of sustainable nutrition is, therefore, to study and implement a strategy for the consumption of food considered healthy for nutrition, without indiscriminate exploitation of the soil and water resources used, also obtained with low emissions of carbon dioxide, which pollutes the atmosphere, attentive to the preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, but at the same time fair and accessible for all, also in terms of costs.
So sustainable nutrition has total respect for biodiversity and the ecosystem; it is also ethically correct and economically viable for everyone and in all countries because it is convenient and healthy from a nutritional point of view.
12 Rules And Tips For Sustainable Nutrition
So what are the basic rules for following a sustainable diet?
- Eating seasonal products: essentially means consuming fruit, vegetables, and vegetables that arrive, if possible, from the same region and not from distant countries, with the risk of a deterioration in quality and indeed of heavy CO2 emissions for the transport of goods. The same goes for greenhouse production, which can produce fruit and vegetables even out of season, but requires a disproportionate amount of energy to maintain the temperature and lighting conditions necessary for plant growth.
- Always buy local products: in the same way as above, local products guarantee zero emissions, also helping to support the local economy. In addition, the fewer kilometers the products travel, the fresher and healthier they are.
- Choose fresh foods: pre-cooked or pre-cooked dishes are certainly more comfortable, but they also have very high impacts on their packaging environment. Hence, returning to cooking at home by choosing healthy and straightforward foods gives greater satisfaction and avoids being overwhelmed with preservatives.
- Reduce the consumption of meat: to produce 1 kg of beef in an intensive industrial farm, 15,000 liters of water, 15 kg of grains and cereals are required, and over 70 kilograms of CO2eq are emitted. For this reason, meat production is a tremendous waste of resources that could instead be diverted to the cultivation of eco-sustainable products. Furthermore, dieticians recommend eating no more than 20-30 kg of meat per capita per year for health reasons, which are values that we Europeans exceed. Research has found that Europeans’ average consumption of meat is around 90 kg per capita.
- Also, select other species of fish to eat: only 10% of edible fish arrive on Italian and world tables, and the remaining 90% is practically ignored. The consequence of this is frantic fishing of only some species with the consequent risk of extinction. In this sense, fish such as swordfish, salmon, tuna, and cod risk disappearing permanently.
- Reduce waste: 33% of the food produced worldwide ends up directly in landfills even if it is perfectly edible. There is, therefore, a massive waste of resources that could instead be used to feed the billion people who are dying of hunger.
- Buy only products with light packaging: some statistics say that 40% of waste that pollutes the environment is due to the packaging of the various products we buy. As ethically correct consumers, our task is to select only products that are sold only with the necessary packaging for transport home. The production of boxes and packaging is a massive waste of resources that could instead be used more intelligently.
- Drink only tap water: Italians are still not convinced that tap water at home is as healthy and safe as the bottles we buy at the supermarket. In addition to indirectly polluting for transport, bottling, and the packaging itself, Supermarket water is tremendously expensive compared to what we pay for tap water at home.
- Use the stove conscientiously: since gas is inexpensive, we do not think about using it and doing it correctly. We often leave the fire on for minutes before putting a saucepan on it. The gas production is highly polluting for the environment, not so much for the residues after it is burned, but above all to extract it, refine it and distribute it in all homes.
- Only use stainless steel cookware: not everyone knows that only stainless steel is safe as it is an inert material. On the other hand, the situation is different for many non-stick pans (those containing PFOA) that are toxic, especially with fires fired at a thousand, and for copper and aluminum pans that release carcinogenic substances into the food during cooking. It is essential to save energy when cooking using pressure cookers.
- Buy organic products: agriculture and organic farms provide healthy and certified food and ensure low energy consumption and, therefore, an almost zero impact on the environment. And by emissions law, organic food cannot be produced with pesticides and chemicals, just as animals cannot be given antibiotics and hormones to inflate them. So you have to avoid buying meat from intensive farms which emit large quantities of Co2 to reach their goals
- Eat simple, wholesome, and unprocessed foods more often: we all know that often eating at Mc Donald’s is terrible; well, in this sense, giving up a snack in the afternoon for a fruit or a raw vegetable can only be good for our health.
Tips For Sustainable Nutrition
As we have seen, some behaviors can contribute to nourishing and promoting sustainable nutrition for a better and more eco-sustainable world. It might be tricky to follow these 12 tips at first, but as the days go by, you quickly get used to them. They are small gestures that do not change our lives in an epochal way, but if we all followed these simple rules, we could live in a more just world within human reach. For example, avoiding packaging, by buying directly in those shops and outlets that sell by weight and not by the pack, reducing gas waste in the stove (an attitude that also saves on the bill), and trying to waste as little as possible, thus protecting the territories from excessive exploitation resources . that’s all . let’s do it for our children and us!
Also Read: Tofu: Composition, Cooking, And Benefits