There’s a reason why our phone backgrounds are often images of blue ocean waters and snow-capped mountains, and why all of Toronto flocks to Bellwoods or New York City to Central Park on a sunny day to claim a square of grass: we crave nature.
An easy way we can connect to nature in a daily, non weather related way is through the food we eat. By making conscious food choices and by practising mindful eating we can deepen our connection.
Here are a few simple ways to get started:
Choose natural, whole, nutritious foods to eat. Natural foods are those which come directly from Earth. In other words, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.
It is really important to drink water every day. Personally, I stay hydrated by drinking daily the amount of water that my body needs, without following a specific guideline (for example 8 glasses each day).
We should all strive to adopt balanced and better diets. That means eating a wide variety of food and not having too much of any one thing. Right now, around 75 per cent of the world’s food comes from just five animals and 12 plants — even though there are around 390,000 thousands different edible plants available! That means we’re using a lot of our land for just a few things, and leaving less room for nature. Balance in our diets can help reduce emissions and protect biodiversity, while ensuring we can still enjoy everything we love in moderation.
But we shouldn’t just eat more different types of food — we should make sure what we eat is better produced. That means the ingredients haven’t caused things like deforestation or soil and water pollution. As much as possible, we should make efforts to understand how what we eat affects nature as well as our bodies — sustainability certifications on food packaging is one useful source of this information.
Lastly it might sound obvious, but we also need to make sure we actually eat our food. One-third of all food produced never gets eaten, which isn’t just a waste of money and calories but also a massive waste of all the water, energy and land that went into its production. By shopping, cooking and serving food smarter, it is possible to save the third of food we are currently wasting.
When we make conscious food choices we are actively making the decision to buy (or grow) better quality food that comes from farms that don’t destroy the environment but rather, restore it.