what you eat affects both you and the planet

what you eat affects both you and the planet

What we choose to eat has a direct impact on our health. Researchers have revealed that up to 80 percent of chronic diseases can be prevented by making healthy and conscious lifestyle choices. And of course, our daily diet plays a huge role in this. 

As the popular adage goes, we are what we eat. Developing better eating habits can equip us to live healthier and more vibrant lives. And here’s one more added benefit of making the right food choices: healthy eating also boosts our planet’s health.

The foods that we buy and consume directly impact our planet. The techniques that we employ to produce food at a large scale negatively affect the land, the sea and the atmosphere. The food industry emits tons of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, which directly contribute to global warming and climate change. 

Sure, producing food in great amounts is helping us fight hunger on a global level. Over the last couple of decades, the rate of hunger in developing countries has fallen by more than 10 percent. This is a significant achievement. However, as a species, we’re also wasting more food than ever before. Every year, we throw away 1.3 billion tons of perfectly edible food. This is a shocking statistic! Yes, we are wasting food such as produce and dairy and meat products, but if we zoom out and observe, we’re wasting incredible amounts of money, energy and other resources as well. 

So what can we all do about this? Firstly, we need to be aware of what we’re eating. And secondly, we must be conscious and mindful of how much food we truly need, what source it comes from and how it’s produced. At the end of the day, every time we go to the grocery store and buy food for ourselves, we make choices, and whether we realize this or not, these seemingly insignificant choices reveal our personal values and in a tiny way shape the world we choose to live in. 

Times have changed and we now have the technology and means to build sustainable, eco-friendly food systems to fulfill the needs of everyone in the world, so why not support them? Let’s take a step back and reflect on what kind of food systems we’re encouraging with our food choices and how they are affecting both our bodies and our beautiful planet. With better awareness and self-education, we can all empower ourselves to make healthy choices. After all, each of us has got only one body and one planet to live in, so why not do the right thing and eat cleaner and healthier?