The low-carbon diet: 6 principles for how to eat sustainably
Looking for a low-carbon diet instead of low-carb? If you are interested in saving the world one bite at the time, here are 6 easy steps you can follow. Finally, a diet that lets you eat all the chocolate you want, but still gives you a clear conscience…
1) Don’t buy more food than you can eat: Modern western countries actually waste up to half of their food supplies. In fact, 40 % of the food produced in USA is wasted, and 30 % of all the food purchased in the UK is thrown away. Researchers estimate that food wasted by the US and Europe could feed the world three times over. And methane produced by the waste of food is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. If we could stop wasting food, the CO2 impact would be the same as if we took 1 of 4 cars off the road!
2) Try to buy local food: This will minimize the energy used in transport and storage -and if you really want to make an effort: try to grow your own vegetables! Visit local markets, or check the packaging if you need additional information. According to the regulations from the food authorities in the EU and US, all producers are obligated to provide this info to their consumers.
3) Eat seasonal: This will minimize the production costs for food production. Do you really need fresh strawberries in November or asparagus in January?
4) Limit foods of animal origin: This includes meat, fish, dairy products and eggs. Livestock farming is one of the most significant contributors to climate change. However, it is better to eat chicken or fish instead of beef. According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), beef production generates greenhouse gases that contribute more than 13 times as much to global warming as do the gases emitted from producing chicken. For potatoes, the multiplier is 57.
5) Choose farming-products and fish from sustainable producers: Ensure that meat, fish, dairy products and eggs are produced to high environmental and animal welfare standards. To ensure customers, several certification systems are put in place. As an example, fish marked with MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) comes from a sustainable source. MSC is a global certification program, recognizing sustainable fishing practices for future generations. GLOBAL G.A.P is another global standard, primarily designed to reassure consumers about how food is produced on the farm by minimizing negative environmental impacts. GLOBAL G.A.P is found on everything from meat, to vegetables, coffee and farmed fish. There are other international recognized standards, and most countries have their own national standards as well. I know it can be confusing, but take time to read the packaging – and be an aware consumer!
6) Recycle: Ok, this is really obvious, but I have to mention it again. Recycle your food waste, and the packaging as well. Choose products that are recyclable and eco-friendly, and try to follow your local authorities recycle regulations as best possible. And if you really want to score some extra points; make compost in your garden.