How I Eat Consciously

 
 
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The food industry has more of an effect on CO2 emissions than the transportation industry worldwide. 51% of greenhouse gas emissions is from livestock and their by products.

One very easy way to live more sustainably is to eat more consciously- to eat less meat and dairy products.


There are many people in the world that are trying to accomplish this- vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and flexitarians. Vegans cut out all animal products. Vegetarians cut out all meat and fish. Pescatarians cut out all meat but eat fish. And flexitarians cut out meat and/or for at least one day a week.

No matter the extent that you are going to conscious eating, you are making a difference.

 

I would consider myself a flexitarian. When I make my own meals or when options are presented to me, I eat meatless or dairy free. If there are no main courses under this description, I start with the sides. If I go somewhere to eat, I look for meatless options. However, if I go to someone’s home, if I get fed at work, or if no other option persists, I will not turn down their meal because of the animal products.

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This idea of conscious eating is not to be a burden on other people. I want to be kind and graciously accept their lovely gesture of making me a meal. Making a meal for someone is something I get very excited to do. If I were to make an entire meal and someone turn it down because I was unaware of their eating habit, I would feel terrible. Therefore, I do eat animal products when presented to me.
 

Easy ways I have found to live this lifestyle are:

  • Pack snacks wherever you go to avoid buying snacks with animal products

  • Make my own almond milk

  • Look into the economic, health, and environmental benefits of eating this way

  • Plan out recipes in advance

  • Eat before I go places

  • Look at food labels for everything I buy

  • Ask restaurants if there are any vegan or vegetarian options

  • When people ask “why”, share facts with them

 

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Eating consciously does take bits of sacrifice. You remember how delicious that meal was and you want some. But, you then realize there’s a bunch of animal products in it. I try to look at it from a health perspective. Many meals with cheeses, butters, or creams are not very healthy. By eating a more plant based diet, you are reducing your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity- all while getting tons of necessary nutrients. Living this lifestyle will force you to eat healthier while making a huge impact on your carbon footprint.

Everytime you eat a burger, it takes about 17000 liters of water. And the cow that was this beef, produced methane throughout its life. Methane has an 86 times greater global warming potential than CO2. And all of the cows in the world produce about 150 gallons of Methane per day. By simply cutting out beef you can make a world of a difference.

On average, Flexitarians weigh 3.6 kilograms (8 pounds) less. That statistic alone should tell you that it is a healthier choice to eat less animal products.

 
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You can be as strict or as loose as you want with it. Personally, my all-time favorite meal is barbeque pulled pork. I love it beyond belief and I could eat it every day. Every once in a while, I will splurge just because it’s my favorite. People often say they don’t want to give up their favorite meals. They don’t have to! By simply being more conscious about what is in your food and your daily options will make a world of a difference. Start with just cutting out beef- that’s a huge milestone already. Then try cutting out meat just one day a week and increase it from there. You will soon see that the less meat and animal product you eat, the better you feel overall.

 

Every meatless day adds up.
Every small change from an animal product to a plant based product adds up.
Every time you choose fruit over eggs for breakfast, add up.

 

Many facts on this article are from this link.

 
 
 

WORDS & photos By MADI GIORDANO

 
 

 
 

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