Earth Day is a celebration that's designed to educate people about the importance of reducing their environmental footprint. Everyone's daily choices greatly impact the planet, and Earth Day helps inspire change and focus attention on the environment, with the hope of impacting day-to-day habits. Try celebrating Earth Day by being mindful of what you eat and making food choices that limit the harmful impact on the environment.
Mindful Menu Choices
Eat Locally Grown Food
When you buy food that was grown on a farm close to home, you're helping your local economy and farmers. This food didn't travel thousands of miles to get to your table, which also helps reduce pollution from the transport. The food is also usually fresher because it didn't spend much time in transit.
Buy Seasonal Produce
Seasonal fruits and vegetables don't require as much assistance from humans. Seasonal produce also has more flavor and nutrients, and is usually less expensive. What's in season varies by region, but generally, you can find asparagus, radishes, Swiss chard, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, peas, carrots, celery, collard greens, mushrooms, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, and turnips in the spring.
Cook Once, Eat Several Times
Instead of cooking a small meal every day, cook a large pot of soup or stew and enjoy it throughout the week. This will not only save you cooking time, but will also reduce your electricity and energy consumption.
Eat More Plants
Animal agriculture may have a bigger impact on our environment than anything else, so reducing your consumption of meat and eating more plants is a great way to help the planet. In addition, eating a diet that's rich in vegetables and fruits is beneficial for your personal health.
Eat Raw More Often
Cooking your vegetables, greens, and fruits at high temperatures not only increases your energy consumption, but it also depletes valuable nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes from your food. If you want to take care of the planet, and your body, try eating more raw foods.
Earth Day Meal Ideas
For breakfast, make avocado toast. All you need is half a ripe avocado, one teaspoon of lemon juice, a toasted slice of multigrain bread, and a pinch of sea salt. Scoop the avocado flesh into a small bowl and mash it with a fork. Then sprinkle it with lemon juice, spread it on the toast, and season it with sea salt. Another delicious no-cook breakfast meal is muesli, which is a mix of rolled oats, nuts, fruits, and yogurt or milk.
For lunch, consider making a large pot of lentil soup. Lentils are the most environmentally friendly form of protein on the planet. They're also very filling and versatile. To make red lentil soup, you'll need vegetables like carrots, onions, and celery, red lentils, vegetable stock, and some spices, such as paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and sea salt. Chop the vegetables and cook them in olive oil in a large pot. Then add the vegetable stock, red lentils, and season with spices and sea salt. Cook the soup until the lentils are soft.
For dinner, why not make savory steel cut oats with mushrooms? Steel cut oats are creamy and comforting, and by adding mushrooms, your oats will be extremely filling. Consider making a turnip salad as a side dish. Raw turnip isn't the most popular veggie, but it tastes excellent in salads. To make a raw turnip salad, just grate a couple turnips and carrots, and mix them with some chopped parsley, a handful of shelled pumpkin seeds, some olive oil, and lemon juice.
As you can see, celebrating Earth Day is easy when you have simple, environmentally friendly food practices and healthy, delicious recipes to try. And since good food should be shared, why not invite your friends over for an Earth Day party to celebrate?