Healthy Foods to Eat While Saving the Planet

| 2/24/2009 4:52:08 PM


Yesterday morning I woke up to a story on NPRMark Bittman, New York Times food columnist, author of Food Matters, and cast member of Spain: On The Road Again was giving some surprising advice: Eat less meat. From the impact of industrial farming on the environment to climbing national obesity, Bittman suggested our meat eating country should ease up on its meat consumption. The long-time food columnist didn’t preach. He also didn’t push the benefits of a vegetarian diet; rather, negative affects of industrial farming and how we can eat smarter to help our planet.

“From fish farming to chicken farming to egg and dairy farming—[it] has an environmental impact,” he says in Eating Right Can Save the Planet. Indulge in seconds on vegetables and fruits and take it easy on servings of meat, Bittman also suggests. These tips come from a self-described bacon-and-eggs-for-breakfast-and-a-hamburger-for-lunch kind of guy. At the suggestion of his doctor, Bittman also says in the article that he now eats oatmeal with maple syrup and fruits, and vegetables for lunch, and the change improved his health and weight.

Another way to improve your health and the environment is to plant a kitchen garden with your favorite herbs. Flavor your food with the herbs you grow, rather than salt: It will reduce your cholesterol while enhancing the natural flavors in the dish. Last week I tried Editor in Chief KC Compton’s Parmesan French Toast, and although it wasn’t completely vegan (my roommate is vegan), it was a big hit in my house. Here are a few Herb Companion recipes I’m going to try over the next week:

Whole-Grain Granola
Orzo Salad With Dittany, Spinach, and Feta Cheese 
Vegetarian Lentils 
Crustless Herbal Quiche 

These recipes are not only healthy for you, but also for the planet.