When we are asked what we can do in order to reduce our environmental impact and help our planet, we immediately think about recycling, reducing our water and energy waste, finding a less polluting means of transportation other than the car. Only some of us might consider the idea of changing food to contrast climate change. Veganism, which has become more and more popular in the last years, is not just a trend, but an effective way to contrast climate emergency, according to experts.
People often associate veganism with deprivation and a limited range of products. On the contrary, it is a way of eating that makes people discover new ingredients and unexpected flavours; it helps to experiment and go beyond limits. In Italy, one of the most representative people of this lifestyle is Carlotta Perego, whose nickname is Cucina Botanica. The blogger shows people that choosing vegan nutrition is a huge resource, not only for us and our health but also for our planet. On her social media she posts mouth-watering recipes which are nevertheless easy to do. They can help people find out more about this surprising world. The Italian blogger also entertains her increasing followers with engaging contents that introduce them to the benefits of veganism.
Benefits for us and our planet
In fact, if everyone opted for veganism, we would contribute hugely to reduce pollution. It has been calculated that 2.500 litres of water are necessary in order to produce a single hamburger. That is not all: animals emit greenhouse gases which we have to take into account. Intensive animal farming is another remarkable issue that cannot be ignored. Animals live in cruel and unhygienic conditions and farmers use antibiotics and chemicals to speed up their natural rhythms in order to keep up with consumers’ demand for meat, eggs and dairy products. In fact, another reason why we should opt for vegan nutrition is our health. A few researches have shown that red meat can cause cancer. Moreover, some investigations have proven that vegans and vegetarians are less likely to be affected by serious illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and to be overweight.
Useful and easy tips
Radically changing our way of eating in favour of vegan nutrition is not easy. We have to give up food that has always been part of our lifestyle, especially in countries such as Italy where food is part of the heritage. It also represents an opportunity to gather with family and friends.
1. One Step At A Time
It is crucial to take one step at a time, starting from being aware that we are not renouncing something but we are doing a meaningful act for ourselves and our planet. A great idea could be to start preparing some vegan meals during the week and spend some time cooking with new ingredients.
2. Sustainable Shopping Choices
Don’t forget to pay attention while shopping: it’s vital to make sustainable choices! Avoid buying cherries in December and oranges in July and be aware of the seasonality of food. Nowadays we are used to finding a wide range of fruits and vegetables all year round in supermarkets. We have to bear in mind that the transportation of these produces from place to place is massively polluting. In this respect, it would be advisable to address farmers in order to buy organic fruits and vegetables grown locally.
It is also preferable to go for unpacked produces. Keep away from ready meals which are not so healthy due to the preservatives added.
3. Avoid Food Waste
Another aspect to consider is food waste. You can consider to download some useful apps to limit food waste, such as:
- “Babaco Market” is a company that delivers home fruits and vegetables that consumers consider aesthetically unpleasing and therefore discarded by supermarkets. According to their website each ton of wasted food is responsible for 4,5 tons of Co2 released into the environment.
- “Too Good to Go” is an app that helps vendors sell unsold products at an affordable price. If we all preferred this sustainable and thoughtful lifestyle, we would be able to affirm that we are saving the world while enjoying a delicious dish of pasta with a sauce made with lentils or tempting the palate with chips and soy mayonnaise.
Cover image by Ella Olsson on Unsplash