Make ‘less and better’ your New Year’s Resolution
Welcome to 2018! January is the time of year when many of us resolve to eat better and to get in shape after the seasonal indulgences. So making ‘less and better’ part of your New Year’s Resolutions is a great way to kick start your health and the health of the planet.
As acclaimed food writer, Michael Pollan, famously said: “Eat food, not too much, mainly plants.” It’s a simple message that cuts through the complexities of nutrition and the health hypes that abound at this time of year for the latest superfood or diet. The benefits of cutting back on the large amounts of meat and dairy that many people eat – and choose better for the animal foods that we do eat - are increasingly well understood.
“Eating less and better meat is a simple way for people to benefit our health and the health of the planet, as well as save money,” says Sue Dibb of Eating Better. “The good news is that by following Eating Better’s top tips and making simple tweaks to everyday meals, you can save money and make meals healthier and enjoy a delicious array of flavours and tastes.”
In the UK we eat double the global average meat consumption, and with global consumption increasing this is having a devastating impact for climate change, the environment and nature. We can all do a great deal by simply reducing our meat consumption – by around half is a good rule of thumb – for all types of meat, chicken and pork as well as beef and lamb. For the meat we do continue to eat, we encourage everyone to choose ‘better’ produced to higher animal welfare and environmental standards to encourages a culture where we place greater value on the food we eat, the animals that provide it and the people who produce it.
Eating Better’s top tips for eating less and better:
· Use half the meat in curries, casseroles and stews and double the amount of vegetables. Add a tin of beans or lentils and extra veg to a curry or a stew. Grate a courgette or carrot into pasta sauces.
· Replace some or all of the mince in spaghetti bolognaise, cottage pie and lasagne with Quorn or other meat substitutes.
· Buy smaller portions of meat and use to add flavour, rather than as the main ingredient.
· Try eating more plant-based meals and having two or three ‘meat-free days’ each week. Look out for veggie or vegan options, or make veggie versions of your favourite dishes like vegetable curry. Go easy on the cheese though, as it’s high in fat and its carbon footprint.
· Choose meat that is free-range and outdoor reared, grass-fed and produced to higher animal welfare standards such as Freedom Foods or organic. Eating less meat will save you money, which can be used to accommodate the fairer cost of better meat.
Making these small, simple changes to your cooking should help make your meals healthier, help towards your five-a-day and save some money.
There’s now a wealth of plant-based recipe inspiration online and supermarkets are getting on board too with new product ranges and recipes. Check out the selection of vegan and vegetarian recipes at Tesco and Waitrose, as well as recipes from Meat Free Monday, Veganuary as well as fabulous simple plant-based video recipes from BOSH!
Happy New Year and happy eating in 2018!
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