Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, is one of the holiest days of the year for Jews and is a time of reflection, atonement, fasting and prayer. It is a day when people look back upon the past year and think forward towards the future. With the fasting that will be going on (and the resulting grumbling tummies), though, you may also want to think about how the ways you satisfy one of your most basic needs – eating – can be improved. Our eating habits have a huge effect on the environment, and making a few alterations can make a big difference.
So this year, in addition to reflecting on the other aspects of your life, how about thinking about what you put in your body? Here are some ways to get you started:
Eat less meat. You don’t have to go full-out vegetarian, but it’s easy to be more “vegawarian” (aware of the benefits of eating more vegetarian meals on the planet, your body, and your wallet). You can start by reading some of our tips for switching to a vegetable-based diet and searching Green Prophet’s archives for some great recipes. Not convinced that vegetarian is the way to go? Read some debunked vegetarian myths.
Waste not, want not. Don’t buy more food than you need so that it doesn’t end up rotting in your fridge, and eat those leftovers. Also, how about generating leftovers on purpose so that you can bring a homemade, healthy lunch to work the next day instead of eating fast food junk that’s bad for both you and the environment?
Put less junk in your body. These days, unfortunately, chemicals and coloring agents are found in almost every type of food. And if it’s not one thing it’s another – even if your food doesn’t have chemicals in it, it’s probably packed with a ton of sugar (or high fructose corn syrup). Your body (and, of course, the earth) simply don’t need that. Detoxify. Go as natural as you can. Put your body through food (aka drug) rehab.
Eat as locally as possible. Eating locally isn’t just about calculating your food’s carbon footprint. It’s also about doing what’s good for you. The more local your food is, the fresher (and more packed with nutrients) it is. Try finding a local farmer’s market near you.
Eat as many organic products as possible. Rid your body (and the earth) of unnecessary pesticides and additives by replacing as many mainstream products as you can with organic ones.
Image via: David Minton
Read about Yom Kippur and its significance for other aspects of your life::
Atoning for Environmental Sins in the Kitchen this Yom Kippur
Are Your Wires Crossed? Go Offline for Yom Kippur