from Dr. Melina
Going green when it comes to your diet can have a significant impact on your health and the health of our planet. Here are a couple ways to start eating green today.
Eat less red meat. Your cardiologist has probably been suggesting that you cut back on red meat for years to lower your cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease, but she probably didn’t mention that eating a low meat diet uses 41% less energy and generates 37% fewer greenhouse gases. And she may not have brought up the fact that it takes 1/3 pound of fertilizer to grow the grains to produce just one pound of cooked beef. Add to that the depletion of valuable land and water, and the environmental contamination from antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and fertilizers, and you might want to think twice before ordering that bi-weekly T-bone.
Choose local & seasonal products. Buying food produced by local farmers helps encourage and preserve sustainable farming practices by increasing crop diversity which can help decrease use of pesticides and fertilizers through crop rotation. In addition, in some, but not all cases, buying locally can help decrease the risk of green house gas emissions through decreased transportation requirements. Although local products may in some cases carry a higher price tag than massive corporate farm produced food products, this price increase may be offset by the increased cost of fuel necessary for transportation of product across the country. Finally, local and seasonal products often taste better, are more nutritious since many of the vitamins in produce degrade over time, and are consumed fresh, which decreases the need for chemical preservatives or irradiation to extend their shelf life. If you really want to know more about local food, check out the USDA’s new Know your farmer, know your food compass. My new book, The Calendar Diet, provides seasonal recipes to help you lose weight, improve your health, and protect our environment.