From beef to almonds, we hear a lot of discussion about the least sustainable foods, but what about the most sustainable foods? If you’re looking to adjust your diet to be more healthy for you and the planet, here are some options to green up your plate.
- Oats. This popular breakfast choice is high in fiber, grown largely without chemicals, and makes a good “break crop,” or crop to plant between harvests to replenish the soil.
- Locally-grown vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are a key part of a healthy diet and opting for locally grown, organic ones are the most sustainable option. Remember to keep your choices seasonal.
- Mussels and other bivalves. Bivalves are nutrient-dense and excellent water purifiers. They also require no water for growth, absorb carbon, and serve as a habitat for other marine species. In addition to mussels, look for oysters, mussels, clams, and scallops.
- Seaweed. Seaweed is great for us and the ocean. It absorbs carbon, combats ocean acidification, and converts pollutants into nutrients.
- Beans and lentils. Also called pulses, these foods self-fertilize through the soil and are high in protein.
- Venison. For the more adventurous eater, venison is a good nutrient-dense protein choice as it is usually locally sourced, and deer forage on plants and trees that humans cannot consume.
- Regenerative farming products. Choosing foods for your personal health and the health of the planet can feel like a balancing act. Many people choose to cut out red meat altogether, but opting to buy your red meat from local farms which practice regenerative agriculture is another great option for those not ready to cut out meat. The same goes for dairy, poultry, and eggs.