If we want to start helping our planet to survive with the overpopulation that has now reached unsustainable levels and we want to reduce the carbon footprint a fundamental step is to choose sustainable food, thus reducing waste, emissions, and consumption. To do that we must pay attention to what we eat, in short, how it is made, where it comes from, etc., and choose sources that respect the environment and our body.

WWF has drawn up a handbook of tips for healthy eating and for helping to reduce deforestation, global warming, and biodiversity loss.

1 – Try to always buy local products

Choosing local products not only reduces emissions for transport but also supports the local economy. The products of our land are fresher, they do not need packaging for transport and they help small Italian producers. A good idea is to rely on “ethical purchasing” which means buying products and services produced in a way that minimizes social and/or environmental damage, usually healthy and organic products, whilst avoiding products and services that have a negative impact.

2 – Eat seasonal products

Choosing non-seasonal products means buying fruit and vegetables from the other side of the world, which have faced a long journey and emitted a lot of CO2. Greenhouse production, on the other hand, requires an enormous amount of energy to maintain the temperature and lighting conditions necessary for the growth of the seedlings.

3 – Do not buy meat from intensive farming

To eat sustainably it is important to minimize the consumption of meat and pay close attention to the origin of what we buy. Intensive farming is very harmful to the environment and to our body, as they emit large amounts of CO2 and bring anything but natural foods to the table.

“To obtain 1 kg of beef, approximately 15 kg of cereals and soy, 15,000 liters of water are required and up to 68 kg of CO2eq are emitted” explains WWF.

4 – Choose the right fish

It is important to inquire about the rule of legal size, the seasonality, the species present in our territory, and the methodology used to capture the fish we eat, to protect the fish heritage and avoid feeding ourselves with fish that have crossed the world – with the consequent loss of freshness and increased emissions.

5 – Don’t waste anything

One-third of the world’s food production does not reach the table but is thrown in landfills. For a sustainable diet, it is important to learn not to waste anything, to protect our territories from the excessive exploitation of resources and our wallets from unjustified expenses.

6 – Buy organic

In addition to providing us with healthy food, organic farming also ensures the lowest energy consumption and the lowest CO2 emissions on the market. By law, organic foods cannot be produced The National Organic Program (NOP) is the federal regulatory framework governing organically produced crops and livestock. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the program and enforces the NOP regulations and standards, regulating the use of the term “organic” on food labels.

7 – Avoid packaging

About 40% of the waste that ends up in landfills is packaging, let’s add the energy consumed to produce and transport them, and immediately we can get an idea of why a simple paper bag is enough to store the fruit and a reusable canvas bag for shopping. A series of shops do without packaging and sell all foods by the kilo, from pasta to spices, from sweets to eggs, making this choice every day contributes to our sustainable diet.

8 – Choose fresh and simple foods

Ready-made, pre-cooked and prepackaged dishes have very high impacts on the environment. This is why it is important to choose simple foods and cook at home starting from raw materials. In this way, we can do without preservatives, and dyes and improve our diet.

9 – Drink tap water

Buying plastic bottles when drinking water that flows from our taps is completely unsustainable, regardless of emissions from road transport and those for the production and disposal of PET (the infamous polyethylene terephthalate).

10 – Avoid waste on the stove

Cooking in bunk beds, taking advantage of the heat of the oven which has recently been switched off to heat food, being careful that the flame does not go beyond the edges of the pots and other small tricks like these will help us save energy in the kitchen and cut the amount of the bill too.

In short, if we all do our part and start to eat sustainably, the planet will be grateful to us and the whole of humanity will benefit incredibly from it.

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