Monday 6 January 2014

Resolving to change the world

Have you created some New Years resolutions yet? No? Nor have I. I am, however in day 2 of Gabrielle Bernstein's May Cause Miracles 42 day program. So far, pretty amazing. Confronting, but amazing. My hubby is doing it with me. Yes, I know - he is freakin' awesome!

Image by Divine Consciousness via pinterest
Anywho, when it comes to New Year's resolutions, I've never been that effective. In making or keeping them. Who is? My hubby, that's who. Sorry, I'll stop going on about him. Let's move on - I'm not going to share my resolutions with you. 'Cos hey don't exist...yet. I have intentions of writing some this year. I have resolved to create lasting resolutions, if that even makes sense. 

What I do want to share with you are Food Tank's New Year resolutions that they have created for all of us. How's that?! Ready made resolutions! Seriously though, I could not have come up with a better list if I had tried. How many of these are you currently doing? Do you think you could do just one more for your sake, and for the health of the world? I have highlighted which ones I can check off the list and added my thoughts in purple. You can read the full, original post HERE

P.S. Go become a Food Tank Sustainer

1. Meet Your Local Farmer
Meeting your local farmer puts a face to where your food comes from and creates a connection between farmers and consumers.
(Farmer's markets are great for this)
2. Eat Seasonal Produce
By purchasing local foods that are in season, you can help reduce the environmental impact of shipping food. And your money goes straight to the farmer, supporting the local economy.
And the produce will be much more nutrient-dense (AKA more full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) as it hasn't been sitting in some storage place for who-knows-how-long. Win win!
3. End Food Waste
More than 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted each year. Tips to reduce waste include planning meals ahead, buying ‘ugly’’ fruits and vegetables, being more creative with recipes, requesting smaller portions, composting, and donating excess food.
Clearly I haven't single-handedly ended food waste, but I'm pretty passionate about doing my part. The 'ugly' fruits and veg, in my humble opinion, are the ones to go for. When they all look the same, I smell a chemical-laden rat. Don't limit this "Love Food Hate Waste" attitude to just produce. Remember there is more to an animal than just the meat. The most nutritious parts are the organs (liver, kidney, heart, brains etc) and the bones (make up some nourishing, healing bone broth with THIS recipe). 
Check out my friend Soulla's blog for ideas on what to do with organ meats, and check out the Love Food Hate Waste site for ideas on how to….well, love food and hate waste…. 
4. Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
Many diseases are preventable, including obesity, yet 1.5 billion people in the world are obese or overweight. Promote a culture of prevention by engaging in physical activity and following guidelines for a healthy diet. Gaps in food governance must also be addressed to encourage healthy lifestyles, including junk food marketing to children.
Don't let the fact that you aren't a health professional stop you from doing this one. Are you a parent? You are probably in the best position to make changes, not just in your own children's lives, but why not try pushing for more healthy foods at your kid's school? Or teach your friends how to make healthy party foods. Check out my friend Tracey-Anne's blog "Good most of the time" for some mouth-watering and child-friendly recipes.  
5. Commit to Resilience in Agriculture
large portion of food production is used for animal feed and biofuels--at least one-third of global food production is used to feed livestock. And land grabs are resulting in food insecurity, the displacement of small farmers, conflict, environmental devastation, and water loss. Strengthening farmers' unions and cooperatives can help farmers be more resilient to food prices shocks, climate change, conflict, and other problems. 
Again, shopping at local farmer's markets and co-ops is the way to go. And they are often cheaper. 
6. Eat (and Cook) Indigenous Crops
Mungbean, cow pea, spider plant...these indigenous crops might sound unfamiliar, but they are grown by small-holder farmers in countries all over the world. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that approximately 75 percent of the Earth’s genetic resources are now extinct, and another third of plant biodiversity is predicted to disappear by the year 2050. We need to promote diversity in our fields and in our diets!
Having just moved to NZ, I'm yet to get amongst this one. I didn't really take advantage of indigenous crops in Australia, however I did occasionally have kangaroo. I even tried crocodile - tastes like chicken! If you're an Aussie, maybe check out the Kakadu Plum - incredibly rich source of vitamin C! 
7. Buy (or Grow) Organic
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that at least one pesticide is in 67 percent of produce samples in the U.S. Studies suggest that pesticides can interfere with brain development in children and can harm wildlife, including bees. Growing and eating organic and environmentally sustainable produce we can help protect our bodies and natural resources.
Ditto to all of that. Check out my post HERE discussing all things toxins in food.  
8. Go Meatless Once a Week
To produce 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of beef can require 6,810 liters (1,799 gallons) of water and 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of pork can require 2,180 liters (576 gallons) of water. Beef, pork, and other meats have large water footprints and are resource intensive. Consider reducing your "hoofprint" by decreasing the amount and types of meat you consume.
I believe these facts are based on feedlot animals, not free-range, grass-fed animals. I have blogged about the difference HERE. Check out these dairy cows we walked past today. Look at all that lush pasture! No filter necessary here!

Facts aside, I have actually started introducing a meat-free day once a week. It is not difficult. You should try it. We really don't need to eat meat every day. Paleo-wo/man definitely would not have been so lucky!
9. Cook
In Michael Pollan’s book “Cooked,” he learns how the four elements-fire, water, air, and earth-transform parts of nature into delicious meals. And he finds that the art of cooking connects both nature and culture. Eaters can take back control of the food system by cooking more and, in the process, strengthen relationships and eat more nutritious--and delicious--foods.
'Nuff said. 

10. Host a Dinner Party
It’s doesn’t have to be fancy, just bring people together! Talk about food, enjoy a meal, and encourage discussion around creating a better food system. Traveling in 2014 and craving a homemade meal? For another option try Meal Sharing and eat with people from around the world.
This is the first I have heard of Meal Sharing! Check it out! Great stuff!
11. Consider the ‘True Cost’ Of Your Food
Based on the price alone, inexpensive junk food often wins over local or organic foods. But, the price tag doesn’t tell the whole story. True cost accounting allows farmers, eaters, businesses, and policy makers to understand the cost of all of the "ingredients" that go into making fast food--including antibiotics, artificial fertilizers, transportation, and a whole range of other factors that don't show up in the price tag of the food we eat.
My hubby just interrupted me to tell me this fun fact he heard on a podcast (yes, we are BOTH massive health nerds): 
In the 1950's, we spent 18% of our budget on food and 5% on medications. Today we spend 9% on "food" (this includes things like Twinkies, if you can call that food) and 19% on medications. 

Now that's just not right (I'm trying to keep the swearing out of this one. Feel free to add in your own profanities). You may have to spend more for fresh, organic produce, but you will be saving money on healthcare costs in the long-run. 

12. Democratize Innovation
Around the world, farmers, scientists, researchers, women, youth, NGOs, and others are currently creating innovative, on-the-ground solutions to various, interconnected global agriculture problems. Their work has the great potential to be significantly scaled up, broadened, and deepened—and we need to create an opportunity for these projects to get the attention, resources, research, and the investment they need.
13. Support Family Farmers
The U.N. FAO has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming, honoring the more than 400 million family farms in both industrialized and developing countries, defined as farms who rely primarily on family members for labour and management. Family farmers are key players in job creation and healthy economies, supplying jobs to millions and boosting local markets, while also protecting natural resources.
14. Share Knowledge Across Generations
Older people have challenges--and opportunities--in accessing healthy foods. They're sharing their knowledge with younger generations by teaching them about gardening and farming, food culture, and traditional cuisines. It’s also important to make sure that older people are getting the nutrition they need to stay active and healthy for as long as possible.

What a list! How many could you check off? Don't worry if it is not many - that's what is so good about life! You can always make changes, even small ones, that can have huge and lasting impacts. 
True that! Image at

Til next time, friends! Happy New Year!! x

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