You don’t really have to give up anything to be green for Thanksgiving, or any time of year. You simply need to cut back a bit, repurpose, reuse, and rethink what is important to you regarding the environment and your personal impact on it. This is what not to eat when staying green for Thanksgiving.
- Processed Food – The more you can avoid prepacked and processed food, the better. Not only is the packaging a problem for the environment but the processing of the products is too. Not only that – it’s all bad for you anyway.
- Prepacked Food – Most prepacked and prepared food has a lot of chemicals to preserve it. It also has other problems due to the packaging, which is usually plastic. Try buying more items in bulk using your own containers to cut down on this.
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- Out of Season Food – When the food you eat is not in season, that means it had to be transported to you. While this is sometimes fun to do for foods that are not native to your area, it should not be the way you eat daily.
- Avoid Factory-Farmed Food – There is nothing good to say about factory farms. They are treating animals poorly, dumping waste into the environment, and wreaking havoc on the ability for small family farms to exist. Not to mention, they produce inadequate nutrition and low-quality food.
- Certain Non-Organic Food – You don’t have to eat everything organic. Get a list called the Dirty Dozen to remind you to avoid the produce that is problematic. When it comes to eating meat, poultry, and fish, go local, organic, and free range.
- Meat All the Time – Especially lamb; lamb puts about 50 percent more gas emissions into the air than beef. However, beef and pork aren’t far behind. Anytime you raise an animal, it’s harder on the environment than growing something from the ground. Then, of course, we process it. It does affect the environment. One way to deal with this is to just reduce your consumption by having meatless days.
- Cut Down on Dairy – Cheese and other dairy also add greatly to the environmental impact due to the additional gas and pollution that processing these foods put into the environment. Buying locally can help cut down if you find a small family farm.
- Farmed Salmon – With all the plastic in the ocean today, it might seem that farmed fish would be preferable, but it’s not. It uses a lot of feed and electricity, and adds greatly to the gas emissions into the environment. Plus, the fish is then transported, which is even more pollution.
Eating mindfully all year long will make Thanksgiving feel like a regular day when it comes to eating the best food for your body and the environment. These go together, so when you help the environment you help yourself.