Health & Wellbeing
JAM | Mar 23, 2023

Fuel For The Future

Vanassa McKenzie

Vanassa McKenzie / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Each year, nutritionists, dieticians, and health organizations observe National Nutrition Month in March to spread awareness about the importance of maintaining a healthy diet to the overall growth and development of individuals.

This year, the campaign is being championed under the theme ‘Fuel For the Future’. A theme that is targeted at empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health while protecting the environment.

Ways to eat healthy while protecting the environment

Eat more plant-based foods

Fruits and vegetables not only provide the body with essential vitamins and nutrients but they help to protect the environment. Studies have shown that the livestock industry contributes to 15 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Eating more plants and vegetables can help lessen greenhouse gas emissions in the environment because plants are easily broken down into nutrients in the soil.

Cultivate a backyard garden

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has implemented a public campaign that is championed under the theme Eat What You Grow, Grow What You Eat, a campaign aimed at encouraging Jamaicans to support local farming and production.

Cultivating a backyard vegetable garden can help to save money and also provide greater nutritional benefits compared to store-bought foods that are often imported.

Growing your own food gives you greater control of the chemicals used in the cultivation process, thus you remain in control of the food that you eat.

Limit single-plastic use

A volunteer from Newport-Fersan Jamaica picks up plastic bottles along Sirgany Beach on Saturday, September 17, 2022. She was among more than 310 volunteers organised by the Kingston Harbour Cleanup Project on International Coastal Clean-up Day. (Photo: Khristina Godfrey, Contributed)

Limiting the use of single-use plastics is a great way to protect the environment and aquatic animals. A recent UN Environments Programme report From Pollution to Solution revealed that there is currently 75-199 million tonnes of plastic waste in the ocean.

This poses several threats to aquatic animals and to human beings who depend on these animals for food and economic benefits. As such, replacing single-use plastic with more environmentally friendly packaging such as reusable bags and biodegradable products can help to save marine life and also money.

Eat foods that are in season

Jamaica is blessed to be located in a tropical climate that yields various fruits and vegetables all year round. Prioritizing local fruits and vegetables that are in season instead of store-bought foods helps to cut back on costs while providing greater nutritional benefits.

Eat more home-cooked meals

Preparing more meals at home is very cost-effective and also provides more nutritional benefits compared to purchasing food at a restaurant. Having home-cooked meals gives you greater control of the ingredients used in food preparation, such as salt, which helps to reduce your risk of becoming hypertensive.

Similarly, preparing meals at home help to cut back on the single-use packaging that is normally used at food establishments.


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