Organic food products and diets

Conscious TV

September 29, 2020

Ecological food

A sustainable diet for people and the planet must take into account not only the health of the individual, but also agriculture (respecting the land), energy (minimizing waste and pollution) and the health of other people, those in one's own community and those in other regions of the Earth. The following seven points provide an essential introduction:

  • Choose whole grains - unprocessed, uncracked - as a staple food that accounts for 50% -60% (by volume) of the diet. Whole grains are the most nutritionally balanced and easily digestible food, containing complex carbohydrates, high quality proteins and fats. They provide the most assimilable calories per hectare of land of all foods: two adults can be fed for a year on 500 to 1,000 square meters of cereal crops. Grains, although they have to be cooked, do not require energy-intensive technologies such as refrigeration. Normally, they only need to be dried in the field. Once dried, they hardly degrade or spoil and can be stored in a small space.
  • As a secondary food, choose fresh, local and seasonal vegetables. They will represent 25%-30% of the diet. A sustainable diet should not include large amounts of out-of-season, imported and/or artificially preserved vegetables. Canning, freezing and long term refrigeration - even on a small scale at home - are energy and fossil fuel intensive techniques, unlike pantry preservation, salting and drying. The latter methods maintain or even suffer (as in the case of salting) the nutritional value of foods, while others result in a loss of nutrients. Buying local not only ensures that food is fresh and nutritious, but also supports local agriculture, which is key to regional stability and sustainable culture. In the United States, food production is dependent on a transportation system that is itself unsustainable and, in the event of an emergency, could leave many northern and eastern regions of the country undersupplied. In a very small space you can grow a remarkable variety and quantity of vegetables and the unused parts of the vegetables can be used as compost to be reintroduced into the food chain.
  • Supplement the diet of grains and vegetables with beans and seaweed (5% of the diet each), fish and free-range chicken (5% of the diet). Used in small quantities, beans (good for soil conditioning) and seaweed (grown in clean water) enhance the nutritional benefits of a grain-based diet. The wisdom of traditional cultures advocates the inclusion of some animal products in the diet. If the animals move freely around the barnyard, poultry meat can be a complement to sustainable, small-scale, grain- and vegetable-based agriculture. Chickens help control pests and their meat and eggs can be healthy if ingested in small quantities. Fish and other aquatic animals, if sourced from clean waters and caught in small quantities (to minimize ecological impact) or from fish farms, can also be nutritionally healthy and the inedible parts can be used as garden compost. Learn the incredible benefits of Superfoods Simple recipes for you to integrate into your daily life.
  • Minimize consumption of nuts, fruits and fruit juices, especially tropical nuts, fruits and imported juices. Fruits and nuts are very fragile crops and require artificial irrigation and pesticides when they are cash crops. They spoil easily, so losses are high, although energy-saving methods are used in their cultivation. When imported from tropical countries, fruits and nuts are very expensive to produce due to high energy costs. We do not help the people of these countries in any way when we encourage them to produce these foods (and coffee and other stimulants) to satisfy our extravagant eating habits. The result is that these countries must also import expensive and not at all fresh food. As for juices, they are wasteful: it takes 6-8 apples to produce a 300 ml glass of juice. Even if the pulp is used as fertilizer, drinking large quantities of juice is, from an ecological point of view, very unsustainable. On the other hand, if you have a peach tree that is giving you peaches, the sustainable thing to do would be to eat the peaches and don't forget to share them with friends! Of course, your homemade fruits could be dried in the sun to increase their shelf life beyond the season and juice can be made from bruised or crushed fruits.
  • Eliminate or limit consumption of refined foods, including vegetable oils. Refining foods (brown rice into white rice, seeds into oil, carrots into juice) is wasteful and generally requires the use of fossil fuel technologies. It takes almost one and a half pounds of whole wheat grain to produce one pound of refined wheat flour. It takes 10 meters of sugar cane (and a lot of water) to produce one large spoonful of white sugar. The production of vegetable oils requires a lot of energy and a large area of land. It is very easy to consume in a single meal the amount of corn oil that is extracted from ten panicles. Apart from the fact that a large amount of energy is required for the production of the oil, if you don't like the idea that most of the corn and other seeds are used to feed animals, you should avoid consuming these types of oils. Whole foods have a higher nutritional value, so they provide more nutrients with less quantity, a basic principle of sustainability.
  • Buy food in bulk rather than in small packages. Boxes, cans, jars and bags are, without exception, harmful to the environment even if they are recycled. Adopting a diet based primarily on whole grains significantly reduces the amount of cardboard, metal, glass and plastic we accumulate.
  • Cocinar en horno de alcohol o gas natural y no en horno eléctrico. En el mejor de los casos los electrodomésticos incrementan la demanda de distribución de energía, es decir, el uso de centrales eléctricas que utilizan materias primas caras. En el peor de los casos, esta demanda extra sirve para justificar la inversión en centrales nucleares. ¡Haz que tu comida tenga un buen sabor! Puedes utilizar numerosas hierbas frescas y desecadas, semillas y otros condimentos naturales que te facilitarán la labor. La sostenibilidad no está relacionada con la escasez; se trata de buscar soluciones que sean factibles ahora y en el futuro. El viaje hacia la sostenibilidad puede parecer largo pero estos siete pasos nos ayudarán a ponernos en marcha. Si continuamos ignorando los granos probablemente seguiremos perpetuando el problema del hambre. En cambio, si favorecemos el consumo de granos, mejoraremos nuestra salud, la Tierra y la vida de los otros seres vivientes, tanto animales como humanos.