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Tasty Food Swaps That Are Good for The Environment
There’s no denying it: what you eat has a direct impact on the health of the planet. The good news is that you wield a lot of power as a consumer, because you can vote with your wallet! Along with choosing organic food, cutting down on meat and dairy consumption is one of the most impactful actions you can take.
The important thing, if you want to reduce your environmental footprint, is not to become vegan overnight but to start somewhere and keep going. Small, concrete daily actions can bring about big change!
And also, let’s be honest: eating more plants is delicious! Don’t believe us? Check out these tasty, 100% plant-based recipes. Vegan food certainly isn’t boring!
So, what are some of the easiest swaps to start with?
THE IMPACT OF WHAT’S IN YOUR FRIDGE
Industrial animal farming, whether for meat or milk, represents about 14% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Most of this comes from beef cattle, since the gentle creatures are particularly gassy. Their flatulence releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than good old carbon dioxyde (CO2). That’s a high price to pay for your burger, aged cheddar and coffee creamer.
It also required enormous amounts of resources, since animals need water, food and space to live. We grow enough grain to feed billions of humans – but it’s fed to the cows instead. All this conventionally-grown grain also has a terrible impact on soil and water health because of its generous use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
SWAP #1 : Replace meat with legumes
Big on ground meat? We’ve got some news for you: legumes replace it perfectly! Take this vegan sloppy joe recipe. The usual ground beef has been replaced with lentils for a fabulous texture, more essential minerals, less cholesterol and saturated fat, and a carbon footprint that’s down to almost nothing. Producing one kilo of beef generates 27kg of CO2, whereas producing a kilo of lentils comes to 0.9kg – that’s 30 times less! Impressive, no?
SWAP #2 : Replace cheese with cashews and nutritional yeast
Cheese addict? Anything can be replaced – and this vegan parmesan recipe is proof. Here’s a tip that’ll change your life: nutritional yeast, also called vegan gold, gives a delicious umami, cheesy taste you won’t ever want to live without! We use it to make sauces, dips and vegan “cheese”, with a cashew base because they’re perfectly creamy, versatile and nutritious. One bite of this decadent vegan mac and cheese and you’ll never go back.
SWAP #3 : Replace milk and cream with almond milk, coconut or soy cream
Ever made homemade nut milk? Not only is it incredibly easy, it also allows you to avoid chemical additives often found in commercial products, and control the amount of added sugar. By using a simple recipe, you can easily make a litre of milk with almonds, cashews or a mix of nuts and seeds that’ll replace cow milk perfectly in your favourite recipes, from baked goods to breakfast. And if you need something a little denser, you can always swap coconut milk, coconut cream and soy cream for regular cream.