Fortunately, there is growing awareness of the effect that our eating habits have on the environment. It is known, for example, the damage that the massive production of meat and dairy has on the ozone layer, or the negative impact that monocultures have on biodiversity.
Like any other plant, algae filter carbon dioxide. Since they need phosphates to grow, they also convert pollutants into food, cleaning the oceans. They reduce acid in the seas, thus creating favorable environments for wildlife to flourish. Plus, they are a nutrient-packed superfood. Cuisines like the Japanese have used it for centuries. You can eat it in salads or, if you buy the dry variety, add a touch of crunch to any food.
In addition to being delicious, mussels act as filters for the oceans. Mussels and other species like clams feed on microscopic organic matter, so they turn pollution into carbon. Mussel farms, like algae, create environments conducive to animal life. You can add them to pasta and salads, or eat them alone, cooked in lemon juice, chili and vinegar. I bet you can’t eat just one.
Oats are a classic food in several countries, where it is eaten for breakfast boiled with milk and fruit. The huge health benefits of this cereal have been recently discovered. Oats have been proven to be a good way to control cholesterol levels and thus promote cardiovascular wellness. They are a good intermediate crop, that is, between each cycle they can be sown to prepare the soil, fill it with nutrients and plant something else.
We are in luck. One of the most sustainable crops is also one of Mexico’s foundational foods. Traditional beans are sustainable because they need little land and little water to grow, and have practically no need for pesticides. Furthermore, once harvested, waste is minimal. In almost all Mexican families, charro or refried beans are a classic dish, but you can experiment with other recipes, such as bean-based veggie burgers, which, when well cooked, absorb flavor and have a consistency similar to meat.
No, we are not getting on the #TrenDelMame recommending that you consume kale. This superfood is packed with vitamins, and best of all, it’s pretty easy to harvest. Like spinach and lettuce, which are the heroes of any healthy diet, kale requires little space and little water to grow, so its footprint is minimal. Kale originates from the Mediterranean coast and Asia Minor, but its consumption has spread throughout the world. It is very diverse… You can eat it raw in salads, cooked as an alternative to spinach or baked for some crunchy and delicious kale chips.