Eat well for health, pocket and planet
When it comes to food, we can all make small changes to the way we shop, cook and eat our food that can have a positive impact on our health, our budget and the environment. Because these small impacts can happen every day, there can be a significant accumulation of those benefits.
Here’s a few examples…
Reducing food waste can help save money. Every time we avoid food going into the bin we have made our money go further. We are also helping to make all the resources that are used to produce that food go further. Even a small amount of planning what we buy can help us reduce the food we waste.
Eat more plants
Meat and animal products are generally more resource intensive than plant foods. That’s not to say you need to exclude all animal foods. Most of us however could benefit from increasing the amount of plant foods in our diets, and a plant-rich diet is generally better for our health as well as the environment. It can also be better for our food budget too.
Buying fish with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) logo can help protect the health of the oceans which are vital to the health of the planet. It doesn’t have to cost more either, there are ways to continue to have fish on the menu without paying more to be more sustainable in your choices.
Shop in different places
Diversifying where we shop can help our food systems and provide opportunities to buy more environmentally sustainable products. Making more use of local markets, veg boxes and farm shops is one example. They can give us more local and seasonal produce often benefiting from better quality or wider choice than can be provided in supermarkets and reduced packaging. It can sometimes be cheaper too. Connecting with producers and knowing where our food has come from can have a positive impact on our enjoyment of our food.
Involvement in the bigger picture
Our choices can ultimately shift retailers to ‘up their game’ to give us what we want and expect from them. Buying the products with less packaging results in more products with less packaging. Buying more plant based products results in a wider choice of plant based products. Opting for seasonal products can help to increase the variety of seasonal produce available. Demand creates supply.
We have put together lots of practical tips and advice to help you choose more sustainable foods, reduce food waste, save money on your food shop and find the best method to plan your meals. Our e-book 'Eat Well Handbook: Planning for health, pocket and planet also has 20 nutritionally analysed recipes to help you eat well, save money and eat more sustainably.
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Laura is a Registered Nutritionist based in Edinburgh. She was recently awarded ‘Freelance Nutritionist of the Year’ by the Caroline Walker Trust. Her specialities are in evidence-based nutrition writing; workplace wellness and nutrition communications.