Well Being

Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Eating Well

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A recent article in the BBC pointed to the threat that obesity posed to the UK population calling it a “potential crisis on the scale of climate change.” The alarming trends revealed by a government study said half the population will be obese within a quarter century. Other than the scale of the problem, the Beebs article didn’t make any further connections between environmental issues and health problems but the two are intertwined – a healthy lifestyle has some very eco-friendly benefits and vice versa.

The relationship between health and the environment plays out in a multitude of ways but it all comes down to choices. Most people would rather be fit and live on a healthy planet but, for one reason or another, the choices we make as individuals and as a society often deter both of those directives.

Sometimes these choices are beyond our control and this can leave us feeling disillusioned that our own actions make no difference. The reality is you are in control of your life and your choices. You can take control of your health and have a positive affect on the health of the planet at the same time.

Today’s Focus: What you eat

A healthy diet is central to our physical and emotional well-being. Eat more locally grown food, eat more fruits and vegetables and cook or make your daily meals to be healthier, save money and tread lighter on the Earth.

Locally Grown

Local harvests support community farmers and have lower embodied energy, the energy used for transport. Buying from a local farm supports the local economy, connects you to your community and helps you eat a more seasonal diet that is both fresher and more sustainably grown. You’ll experience a connection to food that is aligned with annual changes, in other words you’ll have a closer connection to nature.

Eat Your Veggies

Most Americans don’t get enough fruits and vegetables into their diet and are deficient in many minerals and vitamins. Eating more fruits and veggies is not only good for your body, it’s also good for the planet. Foods lower on the food chain have less embodied energy, this time in reference to the actual energy it takes to grow them. Meats are energy-intensive and have less benefits for your body.

Make it yourself

Eating out is not only expensive, it’s also a practice that brings undesired “extras” like extra salt, extra sauces, extra calories. Takeout in particular is bad for the waistline and produces unnecessary paper and plastic waste. Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy snacks to bring with you on the go and pack meals from home in reusable containers for lunch. You’ll eat healthier and avoid adding to landfills.

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