Be Ready: Christmas Table in Eco Style

New Year and delicious food are inseparable and each time before the holiday the usual type of shopping starts. We strive to buy the best of everything, and more. But despite all the fuss, in preparation for the feast it is quite possible to follow the rules of eco-friendly food – not to harm neither the planet nor ourselves.

In the wake of food

You've probably heard about the concept of "ecological footprint". Food production inevitably causes environmental damage that experts have learned to assess in percentage. According to the World Wildlife Fund, in our country, 20% of ecological footprint is accounted for food (transport – only 12.5%). An important criterion is how much water is required to ensure that your favorite delicacy would appear on the holiday table. The leader is the meat: to produce 1 kilo of beef it takes 15 415 liters of water. For comparison, a kilo of tomatoes "costs" 214 liters, apples – 822 liters, potatoes – 287 liters. In this respect, vegetarian dishes are perfect for the "green" menu. If you cannot imagine a festive meal without a salad, simply replace meat and sausage by mushrooms.

Вегетарианское пиршество – это вовсе не зелень и брокколи. Есть масса красивых и вкусных блюд без мяса!

Those who are not ready in the occasion to abandon steaks and roasts, should not buy frozen meat: it can be imported, for example, from Latin America, where for the sake of pastures the rainforests are massively destroyed. Another reason why it is better to buy from local producers (not just meat) – a huge amount of CO2 gets in the atmosphere during transportation. That is why conscious cooks prefer seasonal products, not looking for strawberries in winter.

Even if you decide that a holiday is not to limit yourself, you still don't need to buy more than you and your guests can eat. Some are satisfied only when the table is overloaded with food, and the same quantity remains in the refrigerator, but in the end, too many things have to be thrown away.

 Такую расточительность нельзя допускать

One third of the food on the planet goes to landfill – and that means a huge amount of resources spent in vain. Do not aggravate this process. If you do not calculate the forces, please contact your local food sharing organization, and share with those who needs food.

And yet – do not be lazy to cook. Ready-to-cook food is not very tasty, and not environmentally friendly.

Reading the signs

During holiday shopping, many lose their heads and begin to literally sweep off the shelves all in a row. And for those who have responsible approach to the choice of food, eco-labels will serve as the benchmarks. But here the problem: often such logos are used solely for marketing purposes. An unscrupulous manufacturer can draw the green man or flower on the label, without having any reason.

Эти маркировки сертифицированы на международном уровне

A real eco-labeling is applied to products that fully comply with environmental requirements, starting from the raw materials to packaging. That means they are safe for consumers, and their production does not harm nature. Only an independent international organization such as the World Association of Eco-labels (GEN) can confirm such compliance. It recognizes the following markings: "Leaf of life" (Russia), Blue angel (Germany), "European flower" (EU), the Nordic Swan (Finland, Sweden, Norway). The Rainforest alliance (Frog) sign on the package with a coffee or chocolate means that their production does not affect the ecosystem of rainforests.

By the way, according to some state standards, nobody has rights to the make the inscription "Environmentally friendly" on the food products. The fact is that even so-called organic products are unavoidably exposed to the environment, which, unfortunately, is polluted. And no absolute guarantees can be here. To read more about which markings should be trusted, you can visit the "Eco-shelf".

Seafood: Yes or no?

Salted, smoked, baked – fish is entitled to take an honorable place among Christmas delights. But every year its number is becoming less in the oceans. According to the UN, the abundance of many populations will never recover to previous levels. Experts warn that in order the situation not to become critical, it is necessary to promote sustainable fishing, in which fishing can be carried out indefinitely, but fish stocks will not be catastrophically depleted.

Откуда "приплыла" рыба, которую вы подаете к столу?

Where's the fish from? To find out whether the fish is caught legally and the ecosystem is not affected it is possible will the help of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) marking. The presence of the blue fish on the label allows the user, if desired, to carry out "investigation" and find out who and where made the catch up, even to know the ship's name. The same applies to a variety of seafood.

The black list. There is one easy way to choose fish and seafood, without harming biodiversity. Just exclude the following types from the menu:

  • Sturgeon. Due to excessive fishing and poaching, it was on the verge of extinction. Fishing for sturgeon is banned almost everywhere. Therefore, it is better not to purchase caviar also.
  • Catfish. Besides the fact that it is reducing, when fishing bottom trawl is used, and this method leads to the death of seabed organisms and eggs of other fish.
  • King crab. In Russia, there are mostly sold crabs, extracted by poachers. Traps used for fishing, often remain in the sea, and a variety of animals, including whales get into them.
  • Tuna. Many species are on the verge of extinction. It is not recommended to buy fish caught in the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea. However, in the Pacific tuna is found in abundance, and the fishery is certified according to environmental standards.
  • King prawns. Large and beautiful, they grew not into the sea, but on the farms, located mainly in Asia. Such farms are created on the spot of mangrove forests. In addition, these shrimps can contain antibiotics
  • Salmon. In whatever form it is sold, it is a product of aquaculture that deals serious damage to nature. The fish are grown in cages in the sea, as a result, the water is polluted with wastes, and break free species upset the balance of the ecosystem.

Before going to the store, you can see a complete list of species under threat by using fish "cheat sheet".

От суши с тунцом лучше отказаться

Eat tranquilly! You cannot refuse from many fish dishes that we used to see on the festive table. For example, the reserves of the squid stock are still great, since these cephalopods multiply rapidly. You should not torment the conscience because of sprats jar, also.

Сельдь "под шубой": пока еще экологичный выбор

Red caviar is permitted provided that it is produced not by poachers – otherwise, it can also poison you. The alternative Royal shrimp is North one, caught in the Atlantic Ocean. In the "white list" there’s herring from the Atlantic Ocean and the Okhotsk sea. So you can please the guests by the traditional salad – and for vegetarians seaweed instead of herring and mayonnaise with ground cashews nuts and soy milk would be a suitable option.

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