What’s the best diet, ecologically speaking?

Some argue that a vegetarian diet produces the smallest ecological footprint—that is, it uses less resources to produce plant-based foods than animal products.

However, we have been inundated with novel fake meats, cheeses, and snack foods that contain them. Not only are these fake ‘foods’ low in nutritional value, they contain ingredients coming from all ‘corners’ of the planet. They also usually have excessive packaging, much of which is not recyclable. There are exceptions, of course; yet this gives an opportunity ask, overall, is this product good for the planet?

I believe the best diet for our environment is one that consists mainly of local, minimally processed foods. Whether you choose to eat animal products or not, being aware of the environmental cost of long-distance, processed food can help us make better choices.

To celebrate Earth Day, please consider making a meal out of simple, locally produced ingredients.

Here are a couple of tasty and nutrient-dense examples:

Tempeh and Lentil Chili with Butternut Squash (lacto-vegetarian)

Egg and Broccoli Casserole with Tomatoes (ovo-vegetarian)

Shopping local is another way to reduce your environmental footprint. Check out your town’s farmer’s markets where you’ll find greenhouse-grown produce in the early season, and root vegetables from last season, plus much more. By June, asparagus and other vegetables will be harvested from the soil. Nothing tastes as good as local produce. Don’t believe it? I invite you to taste it yourself.

By Andrea

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