The trend of sustainable living also continues in our kitchen. Sustainable means focused on the future. One third of a family’s CO2 emissions are related to food: production, purchase, consumption and waste. Sustainable eating therefore means sustainable cooking and sustainable purchasing: no strawberries flown in or from the greenhouse, but Dutch strawberries from the ground. Their production requires much less energy and is therefore more sustainable. Sustainable strawberries can only be found in May/June. Every year we throw away 52 kilos of food per person that could have been used. Their production, purchase and waste cause CO2 emissions that could easily have been avoided. It also saves costs, because in euros it amounts to 125 euros per person per year that is thrown away unused.
It is important that you only buy what you need. Don’t buy too many perishable products at once and pay attention to the expiration date .
Buy as many products as possible without unnecessary packaging . It is better to partially freeze one kilo of chicken than four times 250 grams. Not all plastic on vegetables is unnecessary: the plastic on a cucumber or broccoli ensures that the vegetables stay fresh for longer.
Cook measured portions of vegetables, meat, fish, potatoes, rice or pasta. If you have any leftovers, you can probably use them the next day.
To be clear: Organic food only means that the animal has had a better life and that no pesticides have been used on fruit and vegetables. But organic meat is more sustainable than normal meat, because the animals that lead an organic life produce less manure. But the production of meat and other animal products requires more energy than vegetables or fruit, because one kilo of meat requires approximately three to five kilos of plant food.
Organic fish does not exist, because you never know what the fish has eaten, but sustainable fish does exist. Sustainable fishing prevents overfishing, takes the seasons into account and fishes with fishing rods or special nets, so that bycatch is minimal.
Sprayed vegetables from the Dutch countryside are more sustainable than organic vegetables from the south of Europe, because they have to be flown in. Fruit from the greenhouse uses just as much energy as fruit that grows outside in Southern Europe and is flown in.
Dutch vegetables from the ground are much less harmful to the environment than all flown-in and greenhouse-grown vegetables. A kilo of vegetables from a greenhouse requires twelve times as much energy as a kilo of vegetables from the ground . A kilo of vegetables from the greenhouse is then almost equal to a kilo of vegetables flown in from abroad.
This means that if you want to live sustainably in this area, you must take into account what the season produces in Dutch fruit and vegetables. But in the case of a tomato it is often: either from the greenhouse or from abroad. Then the foreign tomato is a more sustainable choice in the winter, but the Dutch tomato in the summer.
Some types of fruit are delivered by boat and are therefore less harmful to the environment than fruit types that are flown in or grown in greenhouses. Fruit such as apples, bananas, kiwis, melons and pineapples are often transported by boat, as are foreign potatoes.