Can you help better the planet’s health with your food choices? If so, what would your diet look like?
Recently, the World Wildlife Fund collaborated with Knorr Foods and The Center for Public Health Nutrition in an attempt to answer that question. The full report, which you can read here, highlighted 50 foods that are not only flavorful and nutritious, but also sustainable, accessible, and affordable.
Unsurprisingly, all the foods on the list are plant-based. These foods offer a wider variety of nutrients than animal food products while also reducing the impact our food consumption has on our environment.
Although the report lists some less-than-recognizable foods, it also includes foods you can find in your local grocery store. A variety of legumes make the cut, such as black beans, broad beans, cowpeas (often called black-eyed peas), lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans. You may also recognize quinoa, wild rice, kale, spinach, red cabbage, okra, walnuts, and several types of seeds - namely sesame, hemp, and flax.
You'll also notice some mushrooms and tubers (think yams and potatoes) on the list, but you may be less familiar with the varieties of seaweed, cacti, and ancient grains like fonio and teff.
Trying some of these foods might be intimidating, particularly if you're also preparing meals for a skeptical family. If you'd like to make changes towards a more environmentally-conscious diet, start by replacing meat with beans a few times a week. You’ll still get your protein, along with some fiber and a wider variety of vitamins and minerals. It’s possible to make a shift towards plant-based eating without having to go fully vegan or vegetarian. Selecting a handful of these foods to try out is a good place to start, both for your health and for Earth’s.