What is sustainable nutrition, why is it important; What are sustainable products?
sustainable nutritionproviding people with healthy food, protect natural resources and it is a nutritional approach to continue producing in a way that meets the needs of future generations. Sustainable nutrition, food production and environmental, social and economic factors of consumption takes into account. This approach It aims to reduce environmental damage such as water discharge, greenhouse gas emissions.. At the same time, to protect the health of society and meet the food needs of future generations. to improve nutritional quality also focuses. Rational nutrition is important for human health and well-being. It is also critical to protecting our planet.
What is sustainable nutrition?
Does not require much water, contributes to land cleanup, does not cause loss of biodiversity, does not emit large amounts of greenhouse gases foods are more sustainable options for our planet. We will talk about which products fall into this group a little later. Sujata Bergen, Head of Health Campaigns at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said: “In a very broad sense, a sustainable food system protects the planet and its people.” He draws attention to the importance of sustainable nutrition. On the other hand, Christine Reynolds of Yale University said that people’s livelihood concerns should be taken into account when eating organic foods. the economic side of the food system, as well as its environmental side. that evaluation is important. For this reason, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are said to include elements such as eradicating hunger, improving food security and nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture. Because for a more sustainable world it is necessary to evaluate the food system, taking into account all needs and conditions.
Since the food industry is very large, it is directly affected by climate change and also has a direct impact. While changing your diet to start eating organic won’t save the world, big changes can be made if all people – or as many people as possible – choose to eat sustainably.
A study conducted with a group of 16,800 participants in the United States found that people with the most environmentally If they replace just one product a day with a more sustainable product, their daily carbon footprint could be reduced by 48.4%. it reveals. Isn’t it surprising, but also promising, that the carbon footprint is reduced to such an extent with just one food change?
According to the FAO, the world’s livestock is responsible for 14.5% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and covers almost 80% of agricultural land … So, the impact of meat consumption on the climate crisis is much larger than we think! And it’s not just that, because the animals themselves also have emissions. In particular, ruminants such as cows, sheep, and goats emit methane, a powerful greenhouse gas with a heating potential 25 to 80 times that of carbon dioxide. According to a 2017 study, the overall environmental impact of ruminant meat is comparable to that of plant-based products. almost 100 times more! In addition to being harmful to the environment, it is common knowledge that a meat-based diet is more unhealthy than a plant-based one.
Eco-friendly choice: what are sustainable products?
Considering the information above, we can certainly think that meat and meat products are less environmentally friendly than plant and plant foods. Although in most cases this is true, the power system is a little more complicated than we think. Because no food is inherently “good” or “bad” and it is also sustainable, sustainable and not harmful to the environment. Where does the food come from, in what conditions, how and by whom it is grown is also an important criterion. However, the products in the list below, such as less water consumption, less greenhouse gas emissions have less impact on the environment. Here is what you can choose for a more rational diet:
1. Organic fruits and vegetables
As mentioned above, plants generally require far fewer resources to grow than animals, so their environmental impact is also less. Organic fruits and vegetables are among the most sustainable foods because of the way they are grown. In particular, at the top of the lists are foods such as strawberries, spinach, cabbage. On the other hand, according to a 2015 study, onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes have the lowest global warming potential by weight, so they are also important components of the list. In addition, fruits and vegetables grown outdoors are generally more sustainable than those grown in climate-controlled greenhouses.
2. Regenerative fruits and vegetables
Regenerative agriculture takes “organic” concepts one step further and offers more sustainable solutions by limiting the use of pesticides and using agricultural practices that prioritize soil health. Regenerative or regenerative farms use practices such as crop rotation, composting, and manual tillage to maintain the soil’s ability to naturally remove carbon from the atmosphere. Research also shows that regenerative farmed foods have more nutritional value than conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.
3. Local and seasonal fruits and vegetables
Seasonal nutrition is essential for a more sustainable world, as well as protecting our holistic health. Local and seasonal food contributes to less emissions because it doesn’t allow food to travel long distances to reach us. Because transport accounts for 15.2% of the total food greenhouse gases. To make choices fresher, tastier and more sustainable, it is important to choose produce that is grown in season and readily available locally.
4. Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans)
Sujata Bergen points out that legumes also have fairly low greenhouse gas emissions. He claims that especially crops such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans help to revitalize farmland with healthy nitrogen and are considered soil-friendly foods.
Cereals, like legumes, have relatively low greenhouse gas emissions. Variants such as rye, barley and oats emit fewer emissions than rice, which has a larger carbon footprint when grown due to its weight. However, because cereals are an inexpensive staple food around the world, it is often possible to maintain soil health by growing large amounts of a single crop.
6. Mackerel, oysters, mussels, sardines and anchovies
There are many studies on the environmental pros and cons of seafood; but in short, small seafood is better for human health and the environment. While there are a lot of disturbances in seafood in general, the fact that small fish are lower in the food chain and don’t accumulate much mercury due to their short lifespan makes them one of the more sustainable options.
Seaweed is a crop that requires almost no resources and grows very fast. It could also help capture marine carbon and filter out water pollutants as they spread. Therefore, it is among the environmentally friendly products. Also included in the 2023 nutrition trends, seaweed is now an important raw material for the food industry and is present in everything from hamburgers to pasta.
Like seaweed, mushrooms are a low cost crop and can grow in inhospitable areas with little effort or resources. The texture and taste of the meat of some varieties also make them attractive and suitable for various types of diets. If you are curious about the mushroom world, you can also check out our article on edible mushrooms grown in Turkey.
Nuts are in the middle of the list, although they don’t cause as few emissions as the green foods listed above. For example, some nuts, such as peanuts, have a relatively smaller carbon footprint, but there are also varieties that require a lot of water, such as almonds.
In addition to adding organic foods from the list above to our diets, replacing environmentally heavy foods such as red meat, animal products, milk and dairy products with more environmentally friendly alternatives, as far as possible, can be a good start for ourselves. , and for us. Our planet. However, if you want to eat, then it is better to use in moderation.
- Chicken or plant-based protein sources instead of red meat options like veal, lamb, goat, beef
- Plant based milk such as almond, oat, hazelnut instead of animal milk
- Instead of dairy products such as cheese, butter, yogurt, cashew cheese, tahini, vegan yogurt
- Small fish like anchovies, sardines instead of “red list” seafood like shrimp and tuna.
- Filtered tap water instead of bottled water, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks
- Seasonal vegetables or canned jams instead of tender fruits like blueberries, raspberries, and out-of-season fruits and vegetables
- Honey or maple syrup instead of white sugar
Remember that even one exchange per day can make a huge difference to your overall food footprint and its impact on the environment. On the other hand, by making small changes in your eating and drinking habits, consumption and cuisine, you can support sustainable nutrition and leave a better and greener world for future generations:
Choose local and seasonal products: Seasonal, local produce can be a more sustainable option, reducing shipping and storage costs. You are also strengthening the local economy by supporting local farmers.
Minimize meat consumption as much as possible: Meat production is one of the largest industries contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing meat consumption, you can improve sustainability. Instead, turn to plant-based protein sources.
Reducing food waste: You can reduce food waste by storing, reusing and freezing food. Food waste wastes natural resources and energy and produces waste. If you like, you can also get inspired by our 5 suggestions to help you reduce food waste.
Reduce the amount of packaged food: Packaged foods can generate waste and deplete natural resources. By reducing the amount of packaged products as much as possible, you can reduce your environmental impact. You can also take care of recycling as accurately as possible.
Grow your fruits and vegetables: You can follow a healthy diet by growing vegetables and fruits in your own garden or on your balcony. This improves sustainability by self-growing food, which reduces transportation and storage costs.
Reducing water consumption: Water is essential for food production, and by reducing your water consumption, you can combat water depletion. This can be done, for example, by taking a short shower, turning off the taps and recirculating the water. You can also check out our article How to Save Water: 12 Individual Steps to Take Right Now.
Change your eating habits: Eating a sustainable diet may require changing your eating habits. For example, you may prefer to cook at home rather than ordering food from the street. If you wish, you can check out delicious and practical recipes on our Recipes page.
We have no other world to go to, so we must do our best today.
Other articles on sustainability:
Source: mindboydgreen, wwf.org
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