Tasty tips from the Green Living Show

Photo: istockphoto.com/Loke Yek Mang
Here are some suggestions from our Green Tips guide to help you eat get more green in your diet. Try the vegetables After transportation, the food industry is the biggest source of environmental degradation, and meat is the big culinary culprit. Meat production requires huge amounts of land (seven times more than a plant-based diet!), energy and water, leading to habitat loss, soil erosion and water depletion. Wilderness is destroyed to make more room for cropland; rainforest is destroyed in favour of cattle ranches; barns and slaughterhouses demand enormous amounts of energy to operate; fertilizers and manure contaminate the water system....The impacts go on and on. For the same amount of nutrition, fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes are healthier and much less harmful. Not all vegetables are created equally when it comes to environmental impact. Locally produced ANYTHING is better than imported food that's been hauled halfway around the globe. Your doctor has probably been telling you this for years: eating less meat lowers your risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure. The cost saving is just a bonus. Avoid endangered fish Seafood harvest levels are so high these days, marine ecosystems are collapsing. Fish is still one of the healthier animal proteins, but you should make informed choices about which fish you eat. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has made it easy to be a responsible fish fan: they have produced a wallet-sized card of endangered fish for handy reference. Also, ask about Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) approval on fish and fish products. On the NO! list: Chilean sea bass, cod, monkfish, orange roughy, sea scallops, caviar, shark, swordfish, bluefin tuna and farmed salmon (salmon farming causes sea-lice epidemics, pollutes the waters and threatens wild salmon populations). On the YES! Albacore or yellowfin tuna, calamari, Dungeness crab, halibut, mussels, oysters, striped bass, white seabass, sturgeon, rainbow trout, wild Alaska salmon and tilapia. Don't support restaurateurs or fish markets that offer endangered fish. And tell your friends to do the same. If we stop buying it, they'll stop selling it. Think organic For the most enviro-friendly produce-purchasing, buy local organic first, local non-organic second and imported organic as a third choice.The environmental impact of transporting those goods often outweighs the assault of having chemically treated them at the growth stage. For your own health, organic is best, of course.But in many cases, local produce isn't sprayed nearly as much, since it can be picked when ripe and does not have to travel long distances. In the era of mass production, multiple chemicals are sprayed on crops to minimize pests. But those chemical pesticides wind up in the water system, in wildlife and on your dinner plate, all with hazardous effects. Organics sometimes cost more because of the added labour and time required to eliminate pests naturally without using chemicals But from a health, taste and ecological perspective, the cost is almost always worth it. Especially if you're feeding small children, whose bodies are much more vulnerable to the damaging impacts of chemicals. by Gillian Deacon