World Environment Day is an international day of environmental awareness that happens each year on June 5th. So, in honor of this day we wanted to talk about some small changes we all can make to be environmentally aware and eat more sustainably.
Our food systems currently account for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. Therefore, the way we consume and produce food is without a doubt a strong lever to achieve environmental sustainability!
Eat more plant-based foods
The evidence to support a plant-based diet is overwhelming and health experts are now including this recommendation in their dietary guidelines, supported by a wealth of research.
The Eat Lancet commission, a group of nutritional scientists and environmental experts, have identified a “planetary health diet” (both healthy and environmentally sustainable) as one that consists of:
- A diversity of plant-based foods (fruits, veg, nuts and legumes)
- Fish or alternative sources of omega 3 fatty acids several times per week
- Moderate amounts of meat and dairy
- Low intakes of red meat, especially processed meat
- Foods that contain unsaturated rather than saturated fats
- Carbohydrates sourced from wholegrains and not refined grains
- Limited amounts of highly processed foods and added sugars.
This doesn’t have to mean an all or nothing approach, but rather small changes to your diet that fit into your lifestyle and will last. For example, choosing a salad for lunch, throwing chickpeas into your curry or having one or two vegetarian dinners a week are simple swaps that will have a positive impact!
Choose sustainable packaging
Many food businesses are making huge efforts when it comes to using sustainable packaging. Shop local when you can, look for compostable and bio-degradable food packaging, and avoid buying foods like fruit and veg in bulk, as they are usually packaged in single use plastic and contribute to food waste.
Here at Gourmet Fuel, we are now using the most environmentally sustainable packaging for all of our healthy meals. Our food trays are made from an average of up to 85% recycled PET post-consumer content. We also take back your cooler bags and ice packs on delivery so that we can sanitize and re-use them. So, when you purchase meals from us, you can be assured you are contributing to a more sustainable and ethical way of business!
Reduce your food waste
Around 33% of the food produced globally for human consumption is lost or wasted, with food waste in the home being one of the biggest offenders. Irish households are thought to throw away €700 a year in uneaten food!
Food waste has a major impact on the health of our environment, as when wasted food decays it produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Food waste counts for at least 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, therefore being a major contributor to global warming.
Simple ways to reduce food waste include planning your meals, making a list before you go grocery shopping and finding creative ways to use your leftovers, such as using leftover veg to make soup.
Meal delivery services like Gourmet Fuel can be a great way to reduce your food waste as we send you all the food weighed, prepared, and cooked to the calorie sizes you selected. No more. No less!