I believe that we should treat every day like Earth Day. However, April 22 is the day that we celebrate being kind to our planet. People are also more interested in where their food comes from, and its journey from the farm to the kitchen table. As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), I care about doing what’s best for my health as well as the environment.
Here are 5 easy ways you can join me in celebrating Earth Day:
1. Start a Garden
Food fresh from the garden is delicious! There’s nothing like the taste of a fresh tomato or fresh picked green beans. A garden is also a great place to teach kids about nutrition and where food comes from.
2. Visit a farm
Wendell Berry, a famous environmentalist, reminds us that “Eating is an agricultural act.” Go directly to the source to learn more about where food comes from, and how it is raised and produced. Learn about how the farmer cares for the land, animals and food they produce. Also, remember to thank the farmer, because if it were not for them, we wouldn’t have the food that ends up on our table.
3. Shop at a Farmer’s Market
Not everyone can get to a farm, but many communities have farmer’s markets where you can get fresh, nutritious foods and chat with a farmer. It also gives you a chance to enjoy an outdoor walk, while getting groceries
4. Don’t waste food
Cutting back on food waste can be easy and is good for our health and the planet. A staggering 40% of all food is wasted. The amount of food waste produced globally each year is more than enough to feed the nearly 1 billion hungry people in the world. Follow some basic tips to reduce your food waste: plan your shopping trip, buy exactly what you need; cook only the portion you need; serve just enough; save what will keep; and monitor what you throw out.
5. Start composting
Food waste makes up 20% of landfills, and is a contributor to greenhouse gas. Instead of throwing food into the trash, start composting it – a natural way to recycle your food back into the soil that it grew from.
Both farmers and health and wellness professionals are passionate about connecting people to where their food comes from. Let’s help bridge the gap between people and food by celebrating this Earth Day in ways that benefit our bodies as well as the planet.
Happy Earth Day!