The Foodie's Guide to Saving the Planet

I love food. Probably the best piece of dating advice I'd ever received was to ask someone, "Do you eat to live or live to eat?" 

Ideally, you want your partner to have a matching ideal/view of the world. Of course, I heard this advice after I was already married. 

I asked my husband, "Do you eat to live or live to eat?" And, already knowing the answer... he responded, "Eat to live." 

Yikes - I'm definitely a live-to-eat. But, even though we might have differing opinions on food (it is after all the only thing we fight about) we are incredibly compatible in every way.

So there's no reason to despair if your partner isn't a live-to-eat like you, you just probably won't be going on food tours, cooking classes, or dining anywhere with a pre-fixe menu.

Instead, I choose to partake in all the foodie activities with my friends. Everything from Instagramming my oh-so-photographable pile of vegan diner food to making my husband wait to drink his latte because our lattes just look so cute together and the wooden table contrasting the white hexagon tile just DEMANDS a picture. 

Also taking a cooking class in every country I visit and throwing a dinner party for all my friends when I get back. And, just throwing a lot of dinner parties... 

You don't really need to see my foodie resume, do you? 

I'm a foodie, if you're reading this, you're probably a foodie so it's time to get down to business... serious food business. Which sounds like a Food Network show I would definitely watch. 

Food is having a serious moment and foodie culture is just booming. So how can we harness the power of DELICIOUS in a way that can fight climate change? 

I'm so glad you asked. 

And, yes, we can eat our way to an eco-friendly planet! (mostly)

1. quit wasting food:

The first best thing you can do is to QUIT. WASTING. THE. FOOD. The numbers on food waste are just mind-blowing! 

If food waste were a country it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses after the US and China. 

In America, 40% of all food goes to waste for several reasons:

  1. the food doesn't meet grocery stores strict aesthetic standards - yes your produce has to be BEAUTIFUL to make it onto the store shelves
  2. the appearance of abundance makes us buy more food
  3. a misunderstanding of expiration/sell-by/best-by dates - which actually mean nothing
  4. Buying more food than we eat
  5. Not storing our food properly

And, while I could write you paragraphs on this topic, I figure I'll just hand it over to John Oliver. He's a little bit more entertaining than me. 

2. eat more plants:

Once we quit wasting the food, it's time to take a nice long look at what we're putting on our plate.

As foodies, we have a leg up. We love food. Good food. And you know, that really weird looking or smelling food can actually be DELICIOUS. 

I'd like to encourage you to skip the meat and dairy. Give some plant-based recipes to try. Meat and dairy taste good because it's salty, fatty and full of umami. 

You can create those flavor profiles with plants! If you're feeling stumped treat yourself to a gourmet vegan restaurant. If you're in the Bay Area California, may I recommend Millenium in Oakland? 

You'll be eating AMAZING food and you'll wonder, how is this vegan? 

And, what I love about it is that it's not full of a bunch of "replacement" foods. You won't find a tofu-hot dog on the menu. Instead, you'll find delicious, gourmet food that just HAPPENS to not contain meat or dairy. 

Don't look at plant-based dishes as depriving yourself of something but rather introducing some amazing and interesting new flavors! 

3. compost, baby!

We've talked a lot about compost! It's some important because food/organic matter can't break down in landfills. 

Landfills, in the US, are actually responsible for 16% of methane emissions! This is bad news for the planet because methane is 30x more powerful when it comes to heating up our atmosphere. 

Next time you're making a gourmet dish make sure that you're taking you scraps and putting them in the right place - the compost bin. 

Get my composting tips! 

4. eat locally & seasonally:

Your food might be traveling a long way to make it onto your plate. If you're living in the U.S. or Canada, you shouldn't be able to get fresh tomatoes in winter. 

If you go into a grocery store in December and pick up fresh tomatoes, they've probably been flown in from the Southern Hemisphere which is driving up their carbon emissions. 

Instead, focus on the foods that are in season in your area. By doing this you will save money, have a fresher and better tasting product. 

And, we foodies all know one thing - good food starts with good ingredients!