Solar Flames - A sunflower

Food (2): Tips and considerations

After a more general page about the important role of food in our ecological footprint, in this second part the practical side: considerations and tips.

Some considerations that are important to us:

  • Eat seasonal vegetables as much as possible. Eating a product in winter that has to come all the way from the other side of the earth because it is summer there is not sustainable. The same goes for products that may be grown in your own country, but in heated greenhouses.
  • Eat as much as possible what is produced in your own country, or preferably even locally, so that it has to travel as little as possible from the soil to your plate.
  • Eat organically grown products as much as possible. Not only are there fewer harmful substances in them which is better for your body, but the limited use of chemicals is also much better for the land and water and the animals and plants that live there. Moreover, organic farming is much more focused on restoring and maintaining soil quality, especially regenerative organic farming.
  • Eat as little factory processed and compound food as possible. That food has a much larger ecological footprint due to the processing, contains many substances that are better not to get into your body, and has much lower nutritional value than the fresh parts. A bit of an exaggeration, but you could say that fresh is nutrition, and factory-made is filling.
  • If you are buying products from far away and there is no local alternative for it, like coffee for most of us, for example, try to find a brand that has Fair Trade as a high priority.
  • With packaged products, look at what is in them, learn to recognize what is not good for you (e.g., chemical additives, lots of salt, sugar, saturated fats) and what is better to avoid because it is bad for the environment. An example of the latter is, of course, palm oil from plantations established at the expense of rainforest. But also genetically modified ingredients or raw materials and semi-finished products that come from a country that does not take protection of nature or human rights very seriously.
  • Factory-produced meat substitutes have a lot of disadvantages: expensive, a lot of additives, pollution from production... You can also look for nuts and seeds as additions to your dish, and of course pay attention to composing a meal from as many plant protein-containing components as possible: beans, peas, lentils... By the way, grains also contain protein, as do various fruits. Delve into it a bit, and you will discover that there is a lot that can replace animal protein. And yes, vegetable proteins are harder for your body to process well than animal ones, so don't be too stingy.
  • Less meat, fish and dairy, or not at all... Think about a goal that is realistic for you, and the way to get there. This can range from 1 vegetarian day to 7 vegan days a week, smaller portions and/or ditching the animal proteins that are the worst for the environment. Download an interesting PDF here.
    Of course, animal proteins are complete proteins, but so are quinoa, soybeans, buckwheat, hempseed and blue-green algae proteins. And if you eat a very varied diet that includes beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds, you not only get all the essential amino acids, but also a wide variety of healthy and necessary vitamins and minerals.
    And again, also for animal proteins, buy something produced close by, look for suppliers who value sustainability and animal friendliness, and buy products that have undergone as little processing as possible.

Can you take good care of another person if you don't take good care of yourself? We don't think so. So apart from no animal products, we keep our bodies healthy by:

  • No added sugar
  • Little salt
  • As few products as possible with additives such as fragrances, colors, flavors, preservatives, etc. So it is important to (learn to) read labels carefully.
  • No alcohol
  • Very little caffeine
  • Lots of fresh products for fibers, vitamins and minerals

Next Monday the third and final part: food processing, from the land to your plate.

If you have questions, want to share your thoughts and experiences or if there is something you want more information about: please respond with a comment on the blog post or send me an email.

Artwork: Solar Flames (2)

All content © 2014-2020  Jacob Berghoef