Kaboom, Kaboom, Kaboom! The first fireworks of the year drenched the night sky in shades of crimson, sparkling silver, and brilliant green. The crowd’s collective response was exhaling 2021 and inhaling 2022. Annie grabbed LJ for their first kiss of the new year, “I am so happy right now. I believe this next turn around the sun is going to be epic in terms of how us humans make daily changes for what is best for the earth.”
LJ hugged her, “I hope you’re right, my love. Right now, not enough attention is focused on the harm our habits continue to cause Mother Earth. The health of our planet must be as important as our health. Already rare extreme weather events are becoming more common. Scientists collectively agree this is due to global warming. Earth is warming due to human behaviors that are not compatible with a healthy planet. Every time I go grocery shopping and see people using single-use plastic bags, I want to ask them if they are part of the solution or part of the problem. According to Planet Patrol, over 80 countries have banned plastic bags beginning with Bangladesh in 2002. Our country should be on that list.”
Annie returned his hug,” I know. In 2022 there are no excuses for not paying attention to global warming in all its manifestations. How about we produce a list of the most promising changes in the food space based on this year’s healthy healing eats theme, Natural is Best. These changes meet the earth-friendly, delicious, and nutritious criteria.
From conception to consumption in the food lifecycle sphere, the Natural is Best choice goes to Vertical Gardening.
* Louis Gore-Langton writes in The Food Ingredients First newsletter about an,
“—EU-backed project focused on developing vertical gardens for domestic use, intending to make personalized nutrition more available throughout the continent while reducing reliance on industrial farming.”
*The pandemic generated a renewed focus on digestive health. A robust immune system is tied to gut health. Natural is Best recognizes the rise in Gut Health Recipes filled with probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber-dense plants that boost healthy gut bacteria. Thanks to websites like Eating Well and Olive magazine, these recipes are proliferating and are easy to find.
*Natural is Best identifies the Back to the Roots movement as more people are reverting to eating like the ancestors. Ancient grains such as buckwheat, barley, teff, and millet are high in health-sustaining protein, omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, zinc, and fiber because they are not processed.
*The excitement generated with the introduction of plant-based foods that mimic meat continues, but not all are healthy. According to the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Stefani Sassos, MS. RDN, “take a close look at what you’re substituting it with. Some meat substitutes are over-processed, loaded with saturated fat, and contain excessive sodium. Natural is Best supports the My Food My Brand drive as more are taking matters into their own hands and creating unique and delicious meat-mimicking recipes using Jackfruit, Seitan, Chickpeas, and Tempeh.
*Upcycling food is a growing trend based on worldwide demand. Natural is Best applauds Upcycled Food Association for creating solutions to food waste. Their website states, “Over 30% of all food produced globally is lost or goes to waste, and that’s a big problem for society and the planet. Upcycled food prevents this problem by creating new, high-quality products from surplus food. Sixty percent of people want to buy more upcycled food products, and that’s because 95% of us want to do our part to reduce food waste.”
*Farmers Markets display fruits and veggies in their natural state. Grocery stores tend to package them to extend shelf life. Eco-labeling is on the horizon as consumers demand to know food packaging’s environmental impact. Natural is Best stands with Foundation Earths’ launch of a science-backed scoring system “designed to help consumers assess the overall impact while accelerating industry’s journey toward net-zero emissions.”
*Almost all the fresh water in the world is groundwater. Global warming is diminishing this precious resource. Natural is Best acknowledges the expertise of WaterCalculator.Org, for its water use research, “it takes 22 gallons of water to make one pound of plastic. It takes at least twice as much water to produce a plastic water bottle as the amount of water contained in the bottle.” Everyone can do their part to conserve by using personal water bottles, travel mugs at the coffee shop, and carrying a metal straw.”
LJ thoughtfully nodded, “these changes could go a long way towards restoring the health of our planet if everyone participates. I remember the words of Richard Branson, “We are now all aware of a connected world we live in – connected to each other and the earth that gives us everything we have. Earth is all we have; there is no other place for humans to live. We need all companies and countries to step up and play their part – setting strong goals, having clear plans, and openly demonstrating progress.”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple, and their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.