Sustainable living Click to enlarge image
fruit and vegetables Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

Here are a few tips to help you choose foods that will keep you and the planet healthy.

Eat less meat, eggs and dairy products

On average, Australians like a lot of meat and dairy on their plates—but these are the most resource intensive foods and also produce the most greenhouse gas emissions. You don't have to become a vegetarian or a vegan; just eat them less often, in smaller portions.

Reducing dairy by just 2 cups of milk (or equivalent) per week can save 13,000 litres of water and 250kg of greenhouse pollution a year.

Buy organically grown

Organic food refers to food that is farmed using renewable resources, chemical-free pest control and fertilisers, and practices that maintain good quality soil and water. It also refers to livestock that is raised responsibly — that is, using practices that are natural and inline with animal welfare. Look for the Certified Australian Organic label when you shop.

Love your seafood AND our oceans

There's nothing more Australian than prawns on the barbie or fish ‘n' chips at the beach. However, when choosing seafood, try choosing products that are fished or farmed in an environmentally responsible way. The Marine Stewardship Council certifies sustainably managed fisheries, so look for the MSC label when you're buying your seafood.

To get a list of certified seafood in shops and restaurants, check out the MSC website:

Think globally, eat locally

Shop at farmers' markets, buy foods that have a ‘Product of Australia' label and choose foods that are in season. You will reduce your food miles, ecological footprint and your food will be fresher and tastier.

The average Australian's food travels over 70,000 kilometres from producer to consumer. That's nearly two times around the Earth.

Whole foods are best

Replace junk food and highly processed foods with whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. Whole foods require less packaging and processing, which saves on energy, greenhouse gas emissions, chemicals and waste. Your health and the planet will both benefit.