Shopping, preparing and eating foods in an environmentally conscious way is good for our self, our wallet and planetary health. Your food choices could center on foods you enjoy, foods that are available, foods you actually will eat and foods that are affordable. And if those foods are available, versatile, and beneficial to your health, even better! Produce can help you attain, maintain and sustain a healthier self, home and environment. Here are some ways to #haveaplant for a sustainable future:
AT THE STORE
Too much means you have to find a place to store it, you may not use it and you end up wasting money
Fresh produce is fine, but not in season, may be a great reason to explore canned, dried and frozen alternatives
If the deal is too good to pass up, divide into usable amounts when you get home, freeze the excess in reusable containers so you won’t waste, and you can prepare in haste when you are ready to use
IN YOUR KITCHEN
Think about how you store your food. Perishables should be front and center so you see and use them
Roasted vegetables can be on the dinner plate AND in the lunch bowl. Chili with beans could be portioned into smaller containers and frozen or atop a salad, on a potato, or served in a whole grain roll. Shredded carrots can add the crunch to a taco, veggies to muffins and color to a stir-fry.
Decrease energy and water in cooking: think sauté, stir-fry, broil, steam to use cut back on heat and water use
What do you do with those few remaining carrots, that handful of sautéed veggies, speck of salsa or few bites of fruit salad? A soup, stew or smoothie is a great way to use up those leftovers so they end up in YOU and not the trash.
AT THE TABLE
Eat an amount that fills, not stuffs. Make your plate sense-ational with colors, textures, and flavors. Produce can bring the sweet, tart, chewy and crunch with a great nutritional punch. To take up more stomach share without overeating, make ¾ of your plate plants between the produce and the grains and about ¼ from other protein sources which could be animal or plant based.
Think beans and greens with a little chicken or shrimp, or a frittata with lots of veggies and fewer eggs, or a kebab with 3 veggies to every bite of beef, chicken, pork or fish.
DIY dinners means everyone eats what they like with less stress, less prep and less waste. DIY fajita, tacos, bowls and potato bars can allow produce to be the star.
If you resist, you may be spending more and throwing more resulting in money down the drain.
If you persist, you are on your way to self and budget health.
If you insist on making #haveaplant part of your living green routine, you will be a gamechanger in efforts to preserve planetary health.