Eco-friendly food tips to keep the recycling police happy
The conversations in the car on the way to school are always my favourite.
This morning, Belle piped up with: “Mummy … why can you drink a drink, but you can't food a food?” I waited for a few moments because I thought she was telling me a joke. Turned out she really was just pondering the nuances of the English language.
I like to think this is because she is a Great Intellectual (which of course she is), but it turns out, the same question was asked by a YouTuber the night before.
If you don't know what a YouTuber is, count yourself lucky. But essentially, whereas we grew up watching Scooby-Doo and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, our kids are growing up watching internet celebrities play games online and open new toys.
It's so bizarre and we do limit it, but I suppose each generation has their thing.
After we melted our brains wondering why you can't food a food, we moved on to topics for this week's column. I often ask them for ideas and usually it's a healthier recipe for something delicious. However, Chloe suggested we cover eco-friendly food options, which we all agreed was a big winner.
Despite growing up with YouTubers, I think kids these days are growing up with an amazing environmental awareness and sense of responsibility that we just didn't have.
It's so nice to see and they certainly keep me accountable at home as they're little recycling police! So, when it comes to keeping things eco-friendly in the kitchen, here's what we came up with:
Eco-friendly food prep
1, Reusable bags
It starts at the store! Make sure you have your bags and if you forget, buy another reusable option. The goal is not to have 100 reusable bags, the goal is to develop the habit of always having one with you!
2, Buy options with less packaging
Try to avoid things that are heavily or individually wrapped. There's no need to put a head of broccoli in a plastic bag. Just pop it in the cart as it is and wash it when you get home. Where you can, try and avoid individually wrapped tea bags or use loose-leaf tea.
3, Cook once, eat twice (or more!)
Try and get used to making larger quantities and using leftovers! Not only does this make busy days easier, but it cuts down on energy expenditure, too.
4, Go organic
Where you can, choose organic, which in turn reduces the amount of pesticide in our environment affecting everything from bee to water populations. There are also some valid and worrying associations between pesticide consumption and human health. Organic animal farming methods are also much safer all-round.
5, Meatless Monday
Of all the farming industries, meat production is by far the biggest producer of greenhouse gases — essentially because of methane (cow farts!), but also water consumption, too. Once a week, try making a vegan meal instead. My favourite quick fix is to stir hummus and a good quality pasta sauce into pasta and steamed vegetables. The hummus has a solid source of vegan protein (chickpeas and sesame) and it's both delicious and satisfying!
6, Choose local
Even though, by international standards, we can't grow anything completely organically here (due to the proximity of our roads to the fields), many farmers in Bermuda are choosing to farm with minimum chemicals. Wadson's Home Farm Market is a great example. Crucially, local food has a vastly reduced carbon footprint and it's a great way to support the local economy too.
7, Energy star appliances
If you must replace your appliances, then choose Energy Star options that have reduced energy emissions.
8, Light some candles
Well, why not? It's so romantic, too! Turn off the lights and eat by candlelight for amazing ambience and a fun family dinner.
• Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram