Eating Green, Living Clean

Contributed by: Gerard Wong

In an age where every meal can impact the planet, adopting eco-friendly food practices can lead to a healthier life and a better world.

Eating sustainably starts with awareness, recognising that the remnants in our trash bins could be tomorrow’s resources. In Singapore, approximately 744,000 tonnes of food are wasted annually — that’s equivalent to two bowls of rice per person each day. Even more striking is the 6,000 tonnes of ‘unavoidable’ food waste that are discarded daily. These range from eggshells and prawn shells to vegetable scraps and fruit peels — elements that many of us don’t realise can be repurposed.

Turning leftovers to lifesavers

The WellSpent Upcycling initiative at At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy transforms what is often seen as trash into treasure. By embracing a zero-waste philosophy, the programme repurposes nutrient-rich food remnants, otherwise discarded, into delectable edibles. This approach not only reduces waste but also enriches our diet with essential fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.

At its Upcycling Food: How You Can Reduce Your Foodprint workshop conducted on 31 January 2024, a chef demonstrated how orange peels could be turned into marmalade, adding a citrusy flavour to baked goods and drinks. Cancer patients, survivors and caregivers participating in the workshop also learnt how to create a rich seasoning from eggshells, proving that with a bit of creativity, sustainability is within everyone’s reach.

Embracing a plant-forward diet

Going green isn’t just about recycling; it’s also about what’s on your plate. A diet rich in plant-based foods and lower in meat not only benefits your health but also the environment. It’s a change that can reduce our carbon footprint and promote a more sustainable ecosystem.

In addition to upcycling food, here are some other ways to integrate sustainable eating habits to your daily life:

  • Increase your intake of greens and whole grains.

    Aim to have these nutrient-rich foods make up half of your meal, reducing your reliance on meat, which has a higher ecological footprint.

  • Choose unprocessed food and local produce.

    Avoid heavily processed products. Instead, embrace foods from nearby sources. Local produce doesn’t just taste fresher; it helps cut down the food transportation emissions associated with long-distance shipping and supports our community’s economy.

  • Select minimally packaged items.

    Whenever possible, choose foods with minimal or recyclable packaging to help diminish the amount of waste we generate.

  • Be strategic with meal planning.

    Thoughtful preparation and shopping can help you buy only what you need, reducing the amount of food that goes unused and is ultimately thrown away.

  • Compost food scraps.

    Turn your kitchen waste into nutrient-rich compost for your garden, helping to reduce landfill contributions and enhance soil quality.

  • Cultivate your own produce.

    Even a small garden can yield fresh herbs and vegetables, cut down on the carbon footprint of your meals and give you a direct hand in the food you consume.

Adopting these practices not only contributes to a healthier lifestyle but also aligns with efforts to protect and preserve our environment.

POSTED IN Nutrition
PUBLISHED 01 APRIL 2024