Sustainability at the table: examples of virtuous behaviours

Sustainability at the table: examples of virtuous behaviours

When it comes to sustainability, we must not forget that diet is a very important issue. Our daily activities can also be significant: for example, the choice of what to eat and how much to eat has important effects on the future of the planet and our health.
To be sustainable, our diet should foresee the consumption of healthy food, with a low footprint in terms of soil and water resources used, with limited carbon and nitrogen emissions. Our diet should also be attentive to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, able to transmit traditional values and be fair and accessible to all.
When we sit down at the table, must we think about all of this? That’s not necessary, but it is important to be aware and think before buying and cooking food.
Here are some examples of virtuous choices:

Buy seasonal produce
Whenever possible, it is best to give precedence to seasonal products, as they have a lower environmental impact and cost less. When plants follow their normal life cycle, they have a greater amount of nutrients and active ingredients.

Prefer short supply chains
If possible, avoid consuming products that come from distant countries and choose those with short supply chains that reduce the steps between producers and consumers. An interesting phenomenon is that of urban gardens: more and more people are choosing to cultivate the food they consume close to home.

Buy only what you need
When we shop we hardly ever buy only what we need: we usually reach the checkout with our shopping carts much fuller than originally planned. Becoming sustainable also means improving our skills in planning what to buy.

Learn to read labels
Checking the expiry and nutritional information means making informed choices. This is a useful habit that makes our choices more sustainable.

Reduce waste
Food waste affects all foods, but especially fresh ones. Keeping the refrigerator ordered helps us avoid waste: it is best to place the food that expires first in front of others to remind us to eat them first.