You must've heard of sustainable living before. But have you heard of sustainable foods?
The word 'sustainability' has been around for quite a while now. For more than three decades now, to be precise. Produced by several UN countries, The Brundtland Report in 1987 first used "sustainability".
While people have been striving for a 'sustainable' lifestyle, with the increasing awareness about the planet, a sustainable lifestyle has, subconsciously, become an integral part of our lives. Be it saving electricity, water, fuel, or picking up habits of zero wastage. But did you know that there remains an area where sustainability ceases to exist? The food industry.
The food industry is one of the most unsustainable logistics systems existing relatively intact. It uses vast quantities of natural resources and emits considerable greenhouse gasses because of fuel consumption.
Developing sustainable eating habits is no easy task. This blog post will discuss some of the most sustainable foods you can include in your diet to help make this planet a better place.
What is meant by sustainable foods/eating?
Sustainable eating is all about consuming foods that aren't only good for the body and the environment. How do we do that? By including sustainable foods. Sustainable foods don't negatively impact the environment. They aren't only environmentally friendly but viable, too. They reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses significantly and use resources more sustainably.
If you still ask why food sustainability is essential, here's why. Along with impacting the environment positively, food sustainability also pays attention to reducing animal cruelty. Moreover, it focuses on the treatment of farmers and how they're born. Developing a sustainable lifestyle is the only way to tackle the ever-booming human population and the constant struggle to provide everyone with the primary resources.
Top 5 Sustainable foods
Plant-based foods are one of the best options for sustainable foods. In contrast, meat is one of the least sustainable foods.
Here's a list of some of the best plant-based sustainable foods to include in your diet.
- Root vegetables
Root vegetables are a significant part of our diets and easily fit into most meals. They are a rich source of healthy carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. What makes them a sustainable option is that post-harvesting, these root vegetables stay fresh for a prolonged duration while having all their nutrients intact.
When consumed in their sprouted form, the nutritional value of plants increases threefold. Just like root vegetables, include sprouts in your diet. Eat as salads, a soup ingredient, a filling in sandwiches, or even stews.
- Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes are widely produced worldwide. They are high-yield crops that use minimal water. Moreover, they can fit into your diet quite easily. Furthermore, beans and legumes are a great vegan source of protein. They are also a fantastic vitamin B12, often found in red meat.
- Nuts and seeds
These little powerhouses are known for their rich vitamin E, good fats, and protein content. Nuts and seeds provide excellent texture and taste to the food and even aid in weight loss. They can be a healthy and tasty addition to soups, salad, milkshakes, and smoothies (and anything and everything you want).
Mushrooms are rich in vitamin D, vitamin B, protein, antioxidants, and fibre. These low-maintenance edible fungi can grow in places where many other foods cannot. Their high-protein content and fleshy texture make them an excellent replacement for meat.
Adopting a sustainable lifestyle can be a challenging territory to tread. It becomes especially true if you've never done it before. The key lies in taking baby steps and taking them one day at a time.