The Diet-Climate Connection
How the foods we eat affect the planet we inhabit
Sure, saving energy is important, but other aspects of our lifestyles also have a considerable impact on climate change. The food choices we make – what we eat, where our food is grown, and how it is grown – have a huge impact on the planet. You can help to reduce global warming by making more sustainable food choices. Check out the links below, and learn what you can do.
The Diet-Climate Connection
The Climate Friendly Food Guide is a great resource about climate-friendly eating choices, with information about healthy eating, ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, recipes, tips on shopping and eating out, and much more.
Eat Less Meat & Dairy
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to have meat-free or dairy-free meals – just substituting a meal with beans or lentils 1-2 days each week can make a big difference on your global warming impact. Or you can reduce your impact by choosing more fish and chicken over meat/dairy, as the former have a lower carbon footprint.
Here are some great recipes to sample.
Try these vegetarian recipes
And this link has lots of great information and recipes too
Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry recipe
Curried Lentils and Rice recipe
Mock Mushroom Barley Soup recipe
Ratatouille With Chickpeas recipe
NRDC blog post Less Beef, Less Carbon.
BBC article “Can eating less meat help reduce climate change”
BBC article “Food waste reduction could help feed world’s starving”
BBC article “Cutting food and carbon waste-lines for healthy climate”
Eat More Local Foods
Because locally grown foods are transported shorter distances to your table, they use less fossil fuel and therefore have a lower impact on global warming. Moreover, since transportation takes time, local foods are usually fresher. And finally, buying locally grown foods supports Massachusetts farmers.
Eat More Organic Foods
Locally grown foods are often grown organically, so they don’t use fossil fuel based fertilizers. And because no chemical pesticides are used, they are healthier.
Whole Foods Q&A on organic food )
Organic Foods: Are they safer? More nutritious? (June 9, 2014)
Is Organic More Nutritious? New Study Adds to the Evidence (Feb. 18, 2016)
Reduce Food Waste
Reducing food waste is one of the easiest and best ways to lower your impact on the planet – and you can save money while doing it.
Green Needham’s Food Waste page
Growing Your Own Food
Growing some fruits and vegetables in your own back yard is easy and fun, and a great way to enjoy being outdoors. You don’t need much space, and some things can even be grown in pots on your deck or patio. Need some tips on how to start? Take a class with the Needham Community Farm. Or just dig a small plot in a sunny location and start planting!
The Needham Community Farm offers beginner and intermediate gardening classes.
Get online tips on how to get started from Eartheasy’s Backyard Vegetable Gardening
Composting Your Own Food Waste
Some food waste is inevitable, but you can keep this out of the waste stream with a home compost bin. It’s easy – learn how with some basic home composting information. Or, hire a home composting service.
- Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry recipe
- Locally Sourced Food Matrix
- Needham Local Food Sources – excel file
- Needham Local Food Sources – .pdf file
- Quinoa Almond Pilaf recipe
- Ratatouille With Chickpeas
- Resiliency Gardens Project Flyer
- Tunesian Vegetable Stew