World Environment Day - What is on your plate?

One thing I am passionate about is the food that we eat, the quality of the nutrition we put into our mouths. It's the driving the force behind The Kitchen Coach, and is something that is super critical for our community to get right. The health and wellbeing of our communities are underpinned by our nutrition, and ensuring we all eat more whole foods is a core part of this.

Another thing that I am passionate about is our planet and our environment! A little bit of a hippy, a little bit of a greenie - hidden within the whole food message of mine is a message to not only look after yourself, but look after your planet! The food we eat has a profound effect on the environment.

Tomorrow (June 5th) is World Environment Day, a day organised by the United Nations to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Today, I'll be joining in the experience at Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast, with their World Environment Day event - you'll find me at the Chai Tent enjoying sitting next to the Maroochy River and enjoying our delightful climate (which is all under threat if we continue on the path we are on as a global community).

The cool thing is, even if you can't participate in raising awareness, you can make a huge difference just by simply what you put on your plate! Here are some steps you can take today (and forever more) to be part of the change you want to see in the world.

Buy Local (and locally grown)

When you buy your groceries, buy locally, support locally owned and operated grocery stores! Or even better, buy from a local farmer at your local farmers market! Buying locally made and grown products means a double win:

  • Your food kilometres (i.e. the distance your food has been transported) is much lower - so that's less fuel burned to get the food to you!
  • Your food is FRESHER, which means more vital and nutritious, every day from harvest a fruit and vegetable loses vitality and nutrition.

Hold off on the meat (at least once a week!)

Animal products are the most energy intensive food that humans eat, so by going meatless for at least one meal a week, you are reducing the embedded energy usage on your plate! 

Buy in bulk

Save on wasteful packaging and buy in bulk! Head to your local bulk food store and fill reusable jars with your pantry goods! The same goes for shopping at the markets, say no to the plastic bag and put your vegies in reusable bags. When you walk the aisles of the grocery store you will be surprised when you look at the amount of packaging that foods have, some have THREE layers of wasteful packaging. The way I see it, packaging is just marketing, and if they need to market their food, it probably means it isn't food!

Grow Your Own!

Even better! Grow your own vegies! Support your local Urban Food Street equivalent if you can't grow your own. Reduce your community food miles, and if you grow too much, share it! Start with garden herbs, they are easy to grow, and once you've mastered them, grow some veges! Even plant some fruit and nut trees, start now as they take at least 3 years to produce goodies!

So - do your bit for World Environment Day, and keep on doing it! Incremental change is still change :)