Picture: Elle Hughes
Picture: Elle Hughes

The concept behind ’going green’: It’s not just about what you put on your plate

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Mar 26, 2021

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“Going green” is all over the news, commercials, our social media feeds, and in stores. But just exactly what does going green mean?

SmartMinds explains this concept that has grown as a global phenomenon as a means caring for the environment by making a deliberate effort to be part of the change.

“Our bodies endure a lot every day; we subject them to fast foods, polluted air; hence, we should work hard to ensure the toxins in the environment don’t affect us. Switching to more eco-friendly practices means taking a personal stand to be part of the change to achieve green living,” says the hub.

For some people the concept of going green is a lifestyle adjustment that encompasses every aspect of their lifestyle.

There are many benefits to this lifestyle change. According to Go Green website, “buying organic food, a popular go green lifestyle choice, leads to a reduction in chemicals and preservatives entering the body. It may also reduce, if not completely avoid, encounters with GMO foods. In the personal environment, the use of natural products can reduce the intake of toxins into the system through airborne chemicals. For someone with allergies or concerns over their health, the lifestyle benefits can be a huge reason for why you would go green.”

If you are new to green or sustainable eating, you have likely only considered foods that are good for your personal health. But Fork In The Road, a hub that focuses on going green, says when you commit to eating green it’s important to think of the health of the environment as well when considering the sustainability of foods, including fruits and vegetables.

Some key questions that the hub says you should consider are:

  • Where is the food grown? How is it grown – does farming disrupt fragile ecosystems?
  • Who owns the land, who works the land, are they paid a fair wage?
  • What inputs (pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides) are used? What equipment is used on the farm?
  • How is the plant harvested, how is it stored, how long does it take to reach the grocery store?

Other ways of going green in your diet could include:

Buy Local

When you buy food that's been grown or produced nearby, you help cut down on food travels from farm to fork. That means reducing the amount of oil being burned and the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere. Plus, buying locally often means supporting small farms, which are typically using sustainable agricultural techniques that protect water and build healthy soils.

Grow your own

Whether you grow a pot of herbs on your windowsill or replace a bed of flowers with dark leafy greens, a home garden is the ultimate local food source. Plus, it's a great way to supplement your trips to the grocery store.

Protein-packed vegetables

Plant protein options that are easy to incorporate into your diet, including lentils, chia seeds (throw them into smoothies, muffins, salad dressings), quinoa, peanuts, and tofu (opt for organic tofu, like Hodo, to ensure that it’s made from sustainably sourced soy).

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