World Food Day: 5 ways to make healthy food and sustainable habits a part of your lifestyle& |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
New Delhi: Every year, October 16 is celebrated as World Food Day in honour of the date of the founding of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the UN. On this day, we should also pay importance to the fact that climate change is a reality and there is a lot we all need to do to protect our planet by making life sustainable and energy renewable.
You may not realise but every minor thing you do actually has a huge impact on our environment. Food also plays a key role in this. Here, let us take a look at some of the ways to make healthy food and sustainable habits a part of our lifestyle.
5 ways to make your food habits healthy and sustainable
Stop wastage of food
Remember, when you were a little kid and every time you were about to waste some food, your mother would ensure that you finished every piece left on the plate. It was a strict no, and you needed to finish every item that you took on your plate, including that little serving of bitter-tasting vegetables or some other vegetable that you may not have preferred. If only that rule still applied. You will be surprised to learn the amount of food wastage that every restaurant, hotel, or even an urban home is guilty of. While the poor population goes hungry, some amongst us are mindless about the different choices that we are fortunate to be surrounded by.
Eating healthy is key. Since we have the luxury of selecting all kinds of fruits and vegetables from the supermarkets, we mostly fall prey to the vicious cycle of mass production, and quite often of unnatural means. It is not without any reason that our elders tell us that there are a season and time for everything. Don’t you agree that red carrots and oranges taste the best during winters? Or summers are superfluous without biting into luscious mangoes? As per a study in Japan, they found a big difference in the vitamin C content of spinach harvested during summer compared to winter. Similarly, a study conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food in London, England, saw significant differences in the nutrient content of pasteurised milk during summer compared to winter due to variances in the quality of the diet of cows, who were fed more salt-preserved foods during the winters.
To get healthy food, have an eye out on the seasonal chart to learn what fruits and vegetables are in season, and plan your diet as per that. This way you have a very good chance of actually eating the healthy stuff season-wise.
Opt for organic
You have heard it several times and you still hear it every now and then. Going organic is the only way ahead. The majority of the foods available in the markets are all filled with chemicals and pesticides, which consuming over the years may end up creating various harmful effects on our body, like cancer, to name one. It is about time you start paying small but important attention to what you are filling your grocery carts with and how you can create a change for yourself, your family, and most importantly the environment. If you stop buying chemical-laden foods, the production of those food has to be stopped and eventually it will be better for the crop growing and soil used for cultivation.
Cook your own food
Another habit to remain healthy and also sustainable is to start cooking your own meals. Perhaps easier said than done, but there are immense benefits to being able to cook your own food. The busy lives that one lives today, where one is constantly chasing time, often tend to dine out and get his hands on any fast food to curb those hunger pangs. And this is exactly where one is going wrong. Bid farewell to packaged, processed, and fast food, and begin taking some time out to cook. Choose your favourite food items and find easy recipes to make them, and you will be surprised to see on the many benefits it brings about to your health. The best part is the cooked food by you will be more hygienic and it will prevent you from eating excess salt and oil.
Spare the fish
Several people love to eat fish. Especially, when most amongst us wait for the monsoon to order your favourite fish. Monsoon time is also breeding time. But due to increased demand fish is not spared even at that time. According to Greenpeace, nearly 80 per cent of the fish population is on the brink of collapsing. To spare the fish and the overall environment, at least spare them during the breeding season and wait for the right season. By doing this you will be contributing towards maintaining the marine ecological balance.
Avni Kaul is a guest contributor. Views expressed are personal.