More and more people are becoming aware of the alarming rate at how our environment—and consequently our food—is becoming affected by waste. Our plastic waste, if left unaddressed, could result in having more waste than sea creatures in the oceans by 2050. Microplastics have already been found in our salt, seafood, and bottled water. And just recently, it was discovered that plastic has already reached the deepest depths of the ocean.
A lot of simple, personal solutions have already popped up, from refusing plastic straws and single-use plastic, to bringing your own ecobags and containers when shopping and dining out. But admittedly, with the scale of the environmental damage we have globally today, these solutions are small and seemingly negligible. They also only address one aspect of the larger environmental problem. We also have to admit that the sustainability movement comes from a rather privileged position. After all, we’re the ones who have the luxury of choice. So we have to make our options count.
Although sustainability is a privilege, there’s still a way for everyone to participate in it. It can be as simple as making better choices in your kitchen.
At the MUNI Meet-up on Sustainable Dining held last May 12, I was able to pick up some small steps that anyone can do to be a more sustainable diner, especially at home.
Bring a shopping list
One of the problems in terms of sustainable dining is the issue of food waste. To ensure that you only buy what you need and in the right amount, bring a list of things you plan to purchase. This helps address the problem of food just rotting away, forgotten in your fridge.
Blanch your vegetables
If you want to make your produce last longer, you can try blanching them. Cook them in boiling water and then plunge into iced water or place under cold running water. Once blanched, you can store them in the fridge or freezer and just take them out to heat or cook again once you want to eat them.
Eat more plants
In the long run, growing and harvesting vegetables produce a smaller footprint than meat. Plus, you can grow your own vegetables from your home—whether or not you have a garden.
Shop in your fridge first
To avoid food waste, check what’s in your fridge and in your pantry first before you go grocery shopping. Maximize the products and produce you still have. Before heading out to the grocery, think what meals you can cook with what’s available. You can also practice your creativity as a cook here!
The road to sustainability is a long and winding one, but as evidenced by these steps, getting started on the journey doesn’t have to be complicated. This isn’t the end all be all solution—it’s just the beginning.
Do you have other suggestions on how to eat more sustainably? Share it with us.
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