I have been writing this post in December 2015 after the Paris Climate Change Conference in November 2015. It was a busy time (especially as we were taking the decision for our life change and cross countries move) and I did not take the time to publish it. I have dusted the article earlier this year and again, did not take the time to publish it. I do not believe in coincidences and I do think this article had to wait a bit as now is the best time to publish such a post.
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December is always a very busy month and this year, more then ever. Not so long ago nearly 150 countries met to talk about our future and more importantly our children future… Climate change is an on and off topic for the past years. It is difficult to get information that are easily “digestible” and there is even information claiming there is not such thing as global warming…
One thing that is for sure is that pollution is increasing at an alarming rate. And we need to act on this. One of the last trend is to link meat consumption with Green House Gas emission. While it seems indeed, that eating less meat can have a beneficial impact on the planet, there is so much more that “meatless Monday” that one can do when it comes to food consumption and pollution.
For those who are not vegetarian/vegan, eating less meat is one thing, but ensuring that the few meat you are eating is not farm factory, but rather locally farm grown is much better. Same for eggs and dairy, ensure it is locally produce on a small scale and organic (please note that there are such things as organic yet factory farms, avoid them!). Get informed and ensure the food animals are fed do not contain pesticides which are really harmful for the soil and its wildlife and the miles they travel to get to your plate are reduced to the minimum. And at the same time, your body will thank you for unloading pesticides from your food.
When it comes to veggies and fruits, get informed. Local and seasonal are the best! Make sure you read your labels. In Europe, we are fortunate enough to still have (nearly) clear labels which states the country of origin of our food. Some people will argue that it is better to eat tomatoes naturally grown in Morocco that ones which have been in a green house in your home country. Well, the point is when you eat seasonal, you won’t have to buy fruits/veggies which have been grown in a green house. Strawberries in winter are a no-go as we know they do not grow naturally in our areas at this time of the year, so avoid Christmas recipes with strawberries.
I have learned recently about the whole fabricated “Pink Lady” apple (you can read more about it here and here, CJ from “Above the River” wrote about it: Pink Lady is not an apple variety, it’s a commercial brand owned by Apple and Pear Australia.) and this is the perfect example of things you can change. Don’t let yourself be caught by marketing, chose local products. Not only you will not feed a massive corporation but a local family, but you will also save tons of energy unnecessary used.
Buy as little processed food as you can, not only you will reduce packaging which include often lots of plastics but you will avoid hazardous ingredients, and again, for this, your body will be grateful. Cook from scratch as much as you can, there are tons of wonderful cook books available and I share also some of my (always easy recipes) here on my blog. Avoid food waste by getting creative with leftovers and for what you cannot reuse, compost.
As you can see, by changing the way you consume food in order to help the planet, you will also help your body, both will be grateful for this. So why not start this Christmas and have a local, seasonal festive diner?
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Well, it is not Christmas (not obvious from the temperatures we have), and while we are slowly coming into the strawberry season, a lot of them are still coming from outside the UK, so keep reading your labels. We are not yet into raspberry season, blackberries are usually available end of July-August. The best way to eat in season fruits and veggies is to shop local and ask your grocer about their suppliers. They will know if your fruits/veggies are grown in green houses or not. So while some leaders choose to step back from environmental engagement, I do believe that we, as citizens have more power to act upon our planet than any laws. Do your bit, act now!