We are often doing groceries. Some people take it easy while others spend hours planning their weekly menus, but the truth is that our food choices have huge consequences in our lives.
Here are 3 things you should ask yourself before putting those snacks in your buying cart.
Is this nourishing me?
Eating well is crucial for our health. Wrong dietary habits may cause serious diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
During the last three decades, these two illnesses became public health issues in many countries.
In the United States in 2016, more than 68% of the adult population was considered in overweight. According to the FDA report, 36% of them were considered obese .
In Australia things are not much different, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s statistics, 63% of the adult population is overweight.
There are two main causes for obesity: poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle.
If you want to have a healthy diet, you should include vegetables and fruits at least 3 times a day, drink at least 4 glasses of water and regulate the amount of sugar and fats that you ingest. It is usually recommended to have at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day; no wonder why riding a bike to work is becoming so popular!
Is this product sustainable?
Even if it’s not obvious, our daily diet has strong environmental consequences.
As it is mentioned in the National Geographic documentary Before The Flood (DiCaprio, 2016), beef production is one of the less sustainable industries in the world because growing an animal requires huge amounts of water, fields and crops.
In the US, 70% of the fields intended to agriculture, are currently used on growing feed for cattle.
This is the consequence of the protein-based diet in western cultures. Our body needs protein, but not in huge amounts.
Also keep in mind that meat is not the only source of amino acids.
People should eat between 1-2 grams of protein per kilogram a day. Following this, if you weight 60kg you should not eat more than 120 grams of protein a day. Keep in mind that this represents 120 grams of protein, not meat.
Eating more protein than you should may cause liver and kidney problems because your body is not prepared to digest that amount of amino acids.
But meat consumption is just the tip of the iceberg when we are talking about not-so-environmental-friendly food practices: oil production, pesticides, and the extensive amount of industrial additives are just a few examples of negative impacts of the food industry either to the planet or to our bodies.
Do I agree whit the company’s policies?
Within the global market we live in, competition is tough and some companies don’t have the best ethic policies.
Wrong practices can have devastating environmental consequences. Producers of palm oil, which is present in many of the food and cosmetic products, are deforesting Borneo and Sunatra jungles, killing both the local fauna and flora. If you want further information in this issue, visit the Say No To Palm Oil Website.
It’s always a good idea to think where our food comes from and how it was produced. As you can see there are many things that hide behind our food choices that can affect both our bodies and environment.
Lately, people are becoming more conscious about the way they eat, and have created different movements, such as Slow Food and the Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, in order to response to this kind of issues. This kind of movements aim to create more conscious customers and to break the wall between food producers and customers.
I am not encouraging you to stop eating meat or to criticize every single product of the market after reading this article… Just think a little bit more about your eating habits and the consequences of your purchasing choices.
Remember that all the big revolutions started with small actions.
We can make a better world by making the right food choices!