The Importance of Sustainable Nutrition

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Importance of Sustainable Nutrition

World population is on the rise.

40 years ago, the world’s population was four billion. Today, it’s 7.3 billion. That means that it took just 40 years to reach nearly the same population that it took humankind tens of thousands of years to reach up until then. The upshot of this scary statistic is that the global population is growing out of control, and with more mouths to feed and less land available, sustainability is the only option for our future survival.

So what does sustainable nutrition look like?

Well, it looks like foods that pack a lot of nutrition in a relatively small serving. It also means foods that can be produced in a sustainable manner, with as little environmental impact as possible.

One great example of a food that does both these things is milk. Just one 8 oz. serving of milk contains nine important nutrients that the human body needs – including protein, phosphorous and calcium for strong muscles and bones, potassium for maintaining healthy blood pressure and a variety of essential vitamins.

Milk can be produced sustainably, too. In fact, milk has been produced for thousands of years. And these days, dairy farms reduce, reuse and recycle at virtually every step along the way, ensuring that their environmental impact is as small as possible. They do this because it makes good business sense by reducing production costs. But they also do it because dairy farming is an endeavor that’s inherently tied to the land. These are farm families who live, work and send their kids to schools in these small farming communities. So acting in a sustainable manner is something that comes naturally to them.

Unsure of what’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to the dairy industry? You’re not alone. DairyGood.org presents a behind-the-scenes look at what really happens on America’s dairy farms. Here’s a short video from them about big farms:

 

What can you do to be more sustainable besides drinking more milk?

Well, reducing food waste is a biggie. In America, we waste something like 40% of our food. In fact, food waste is the second largest category of solid waste sent to landfills. And wasting food is about more than the food itself. It’s about the wasted energy and land it took to produce it.

So if you want your family to eat more sustainably, start by preparing meals appropriate to your family’s needs. Maybe you don’t need to bake six pounds of lasagna for your family of four. Try buying vegetables out of bins rather than in film-wrapped packets, so you get just what you need. And keep an eye on sell-by dates. Stocking up on milk when it’s on sale is great… unless you have to pour it out because it never got used.

Let’s work together to make the world a better place!

We’re all in this together, and we can all do our part to eat more sustainably. The best part is, it’s actually easier than you think to make the world a better place for everyone!

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