"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry D. Thoreau




Become a climate-friendly eater in 2016

By Selena Randall

Once in a while an interesting article pops up in my social media feeds, and this week it was an article on how to be a climate friendly eater by Lydia O’Connor in the Huffington Post.

The concept of the article was that the type of food we choose to eat from our global food system has an impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Lydia suggested five ways you can lower your impact on the environment through food choices.

Become an climatarian – the New York Times defined a new word in 2015, ‘cliamatarian’, someone who uses a diet whose primary goal is to reverse climate change. A cliamatarian eats locally produced food to reduce energy spent in transportation, choosing pork and poultry over beef and lamb (to reduce gas emissions) and using all parts (apple cores, animal bones etc.) to limit food waste. A new climate focused social network www.climatesnetwork.com helps members find their way through the choices.

Become a reductarian – a term first used by Brian Kateman in his TedX talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJJtRWFL_gw to unite climate-minded eaters and hardcore vegetarians to reduce the amount of meat consumed. A reductarian simply commits to eating less meat. Examples could be simply ordering pizza without meat toppings, or only eating meat when you eat out.

Buy organic – this supports farms practising carbon conservation, avoiding synthetic materials and preserve the environment. Organic farming is part of the solution.

Participate in Veganuary – Veganuary is a UK-based non-profit organization that encourages people to try veganism (going without animal products) in January and provides a starter kit of meal plans and label-reading guides. A more limited variation is ‘Meatless Mondays’. It’s a good way to learn about the food you are eating.

Schedule your animal product consumption – Matt Bittman (a New York Times writer) lays out a foundation in his book ‘VB6: Eat Vegan before 6.00 to lose weight and restore your health…for good’. This means that you can eat out with your friends in the evening after a day of healthy eating.

So to do your bit for climate change:

  • buy local, seasonal fresh food

  • avoid high energy air freighted, greenhouse grown, or frozen foods

  • shop carefully to avoid wasting food, especially meat

  • buy short life-span food in small quantities to avoid waste

  • consider becoming a ‘climatarian’, a ‘reductarian’, or buy organic, try ‘veganuary’, or just eat animal products for your evening meal.

Try it and let us know how you get on.

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