5 Surprisingly Good Foods You Can Eat For The Planet
August 1, 2022
Environmental journalist Outdoors enthusiast
Clams, oysters and mussels
Most of us have been led to believe that ‘if it’s not plant-based then it’s not a sustainable food choice’ but that’s not quite true. Clams, oysters and mussels are great sources of protein that can actually have great benefits on the environment.
These marine species have the amazing ability to filter water and kill bacteria and viruses. They are able to clear algae blooms which can be toxic to humans and marine life.
Mussels, oysters and clams also increase biodiversity as their reefs provide the perfect habitat for marine life to grow and populate.
Unlike land farming, these animals require no feeding, antibiotics or agrochemicals.
Seaweed on the menu? Would you eat it?
Farming seaweed has similar benefits to shellfish farming as they can filter water and encourage a more diverse ecosystem. However, one huge benefit of Seaweed is that it sequesters carbon from the atmosphere meaning it can help reduce carbon emissions.
Seaweed is a diverse plant which has a range of different uses. It can be used as an alternative to plastic, a fertiliser for land grown crops and also as a source of biofuel.
The most common types of seaweed people eat are:
Pulses are the perfect planet-saving proteins! Pulses have a very small environmental impact compared to other food products.
They require very little water, they do not rely on fertilisers and pulses actually improve soil fertility as they reduce dependence on energy intensive fertilisers. Once the legumes have finished their life cycles, the stored nitrogen is released into the soil, available for other plants to use.
Cereals and Grains
Similar to pulses cereals and grains rank low on greenhouse gas emissions as they only emit around 1.4kg of co2 per kilogram. Additionally they require far less water compared to meat products.
They are a great source of fibre and protein. If you choose cereals and grains that are grown locally then this also cuts down on transport emissions!
Flaxseeds and Walnuts
In general, nuts do not have the greatest carbon footprint as they require a lot of water to grow. However, if you do want to consume nuts and seeds that are good for the environment then, flaxseeds and walnuts are the way to go!
They require far less energy and water to grow than other nuts and seeds. Furthermore, flaxseeds are amazing sources of omega 3 and walnuts are high in fibre and help lower cholesterol.
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