3 ways to eat green at Christmas
Christmas is supposed to be the time for peace on earth and goodwill to men. Yet our frequently extravagant food expectations can result in the least eco-friendly meal of the year. Here are some tips to help you have fun but leave a softer ecological footprint so Santa continues to have a home in the North Pole – at least, for now.
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- Buy local, seasonal and organic produce to create your Christmas dinner. You may need to tweak your menu, but you will benefit by picking up fresher ingredients from urban gardens or Farmers Markets. You could also save mother earth the polluting effects of 49 000 food miles, the estimated distance Christmas food ingredients can travel to reach the dinner plate, according to the Soil Association in the UK.
- Feature more veggies and less meat on the menu. It takes 500 litres of water to produce 1 kg of potatoes but up to 100 000 litres to make 1 kg of beef! Vegetables also don’t burp like livestock, which contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions by producing methane.
- Waste not, want not. Plan your dinner requirements carefully and only buy what you need. Researchers from Australia estimate that a quarter of food purchased usually ends up in landfill. This is never more true than at Christmas time! It means a lot of ‘embodied energy’ – the fuel and water used in growing, harvesting, transporting and storing foodstuffs – is wasted. If you have leftovers, portion them into glass containers and freeze for a busy work week, when all your Christmases may not come at once.
Dietitian Sue Radd is the author of The Breakfast Book and co-author of Eat to Live, acclaimed for showing how savvy eating can combat cancer and heart disease and improve wellbeing. Check out: www.sueradd.com