Food Choices

Every bite we eat represents a chance to improve our health, each meal being an opportunity to recharge our bodies with food that will make us feel good and look good. We can make food choices that look after the inner environment of our bodies as well as the outer environment of the planet.

Here are some healthy eating tips that are particularly relevant to the green consumer:

  • Buy locally grown fruit and vegetables in season. They taste better and are often better for you. Buying them also supports our nation’s farmers. Buying local produce in season will reduce the range of choice, but you can still enjoy variety by using these foods in different ways. The change in availability of produce through the year is part of what makes the seasons interesting.
  • Eat less processed food. Processing food involves pre-cooking the food, chopping it up, or adding extra ingredients or preservatives. Processing usually requires more energy and water use, and so has an additional cost to the environment. Some of the fibre (and goodness) may be removed from grains, such as rice and wheat, to make them whiter and softer. Processing in some cases means that the food can last longer or is easier to use. Unfortunately, some of the nutritional value of food can be lost when it’s processed.
  • Avoid products with a lot of additives. Have a look at the ingredient list on the pack and avoid products with a long list of additives, artificial colours and flavours, particularly if you have food sensitivities or allergies. Colouring is added to foods to make them look more appetising. Flour and other products are sometimes bleached to make them whiter. Preservatives are added to foods to give them a longer shelf-life. Additives can also cause allergic reactions,and can even cause hyperactivity in children.
  • Don’t over-consume meat. Animal welfare issues aside, it has a high environmental cost. Nutritionists talk about a ‘balanced diet’ because we need a range of different nutrients. Too much meat, particularly if it is fatty, can lead to poor health and obesity.
  • Drink good quality tap water instead of fruit juice or fizzy drinks. If you want to improve the taste, use a water filter instead of buying bottled water. Bottled water in areas with drinking quality water represents unnecessary packaging and transportation costs.