Wherever you look, there’s another brand claiming that they’ve introduced greener practices into their operations, another vegan trying to inspire others to lead a plant-based existence, another expert using the notion of being sustainable in a semi-vague context. What people need to know in this day and age so packed with fluff and unnecessary information, is how exactly they are making a difference with any or all of those changes in their lives?
How are we really making an impact on the environment and the future of our planet with our sustainable or unsustainable choices?
The truth is, our everyday decisions have a surprisingly long reach into the future of our “pale blue dot” as well as our own little worlds. The beauty of it is, so much of what you do can help, and transforming your diet into a healthy, yet sustainable way of life is one of them. If you’re wondering how on earth eating more broccoli could benefit the planet, read on to find your inspiration and change the way you eat.
Increased Nutrient Density Of Your Meals
Sustainable agriculture relies on natural processes to grow food, which means that no pesticides, chemicals, or similar compounds harmful to our health are used in the process. That also means that the nutrient density of your groceries is preserved, which is not always the case when conventional agricultural methods are used, since they have a tendency to deprive our food of their initial nutritional value.
A review of over 300 studies on different foods has unveiled that organic crops have significantly higher amounts of nutrients, including vital antioxidants for our health. Organic meat and dairy contain 50% more omega-3 fatty acids than their conventional counterparts. This helps us prevent nutrient deficiencies which are so prevalent today, and not to mention exposure to harmful pesticides and chemicals used in modern agriculture.
More Love For The Soil We Use
In the same way our food gets a higher nutrient content thanks to sustainable farming methods, the very soil in which we grow our crops benefits from these greener approaches. This practice has become more widespread in various aspects of agriculture, including wine making, so we have access to natural wines that are made using only sustainable, organic methods of production. That simply means that every aspect of our dietary lifestyle has the potential to become more sustainable.
Today, you can easily buy red wine online made precisely in this natural, organic manner, and turn your dinner parties and anniversaries into sustainable celebrations, as well. Soil unburdened by excessive pesticide use is the kind of healthy soil that ultimately allows our crops to absorb more nutrients, creating a beautiful cycle that feeds us and the soil alike.
The Growth Of Local Economies
The reduced use of pesticides and chemicals means that farmers need to sell their produce in season and locally, since their goods won’t likely survive a lengthy trip across the ocean without the additives that prolong its lifespan. As a result, we get flourishing farmers’ markets packed with fresh, locally-produced food that we can purchase directly from them, allowing them to continue developing their sustainable farming methods and simultaneously supporting the growth of our local economy.
Knowing the exact source of your food means that you can ask your farmers directly when you have any questions or concerns, and learn about their farming processes. Such bonds help create a close-knit community based on trust, transparency, and a forward-looking mindset.
A Lower Carbon Footprint
The choice to eat sustainably-grown foods has another incredible perk for our wellbeing as well as the health of our beautiful planet. Remember how our farmers sell locally and seasonally, instead of selling their crops to the highest bidder abroad? Relying on local produce means that there’s no need for extensive import and export efforts that lead to vast amounts of carbon emissions to poison our planet.
It’s vital to note that a sustainable diet is not one limited to organic produce, on the contrary. The sustainability and carbon footprint of your food heavily depends on how it’s grown and stored, and what you do to prepare your food. Opting for whole foods instead of processed goods is another way to cut your own dietary carbon footprint. For instance, simply eating what you buy instead of throwing it away cuts your CO2 emissions by 25%, which is the same effect as going vegan.
Finally, your eating patterns can only be as effective as they are consistent. Keeping up with sustainable eating habits takes perseverance, constant education, and a desire to truly make a difference. Now that you know how you personally can achieve that by choosing the sustainable diet route, perhaps you’ll find it easier to stay consistent and inspire others to do the same.
Stella is a graphic designer and illustrator, a lifestyle and beauty blogger and a food enthusiast. She is very passionate about the environment and her hobbies center around her love for nature, yoga and living in balance. Stella loves giving tips about healthy lifestyle and self-development. She is a contributor to several health and lifestyle blogs. You can find more about her writing by following her on Twitter.