About one-fifth of global climate emissions are caused by food. With some foods, we don't even realize what kind of impact we have on the environment. Avocados, for example, are considered very healthy, but their enormous water consumption means they have a very poor carbon footprint.

"But living sustainably is always expensive" is a phrase most have either heard or said themselves. We
want to show how it can be done differently.

To be considered "sustainable," products should meet certain criteria. Among other things, production must not leave any permanent damage to nature and must be based on renewable energies. In addition, all people involved in the manufacturing process must be treated fairly and compensated.  In summary, sustainable food should be environmentally sound, socially responsible and fair. This usually means a higher price of the final product. But that doesn't mean it's impossible to eat deliciously and sustainably on a smaller budget. We now present 5 small changes  with which everyone can live a little more sustainably and make their contribution to a healthier environment.

 

5 tips for more sustainability in everyday life

1. Seasonal shopping 

Most vegetables and fruits often cost more than twice as much out of season as in season. In addition, these foods have to travel long distances to our supermarkets, usually by plane or ship, which also means a heavy CO2 burden. Shopping at the local weekly market is a good way to buy seasonal produce in a sustainable way.

 

2. Targeted shopping for dishes

On average, every German throws away 80 kg of food per year. A good way to cut down on unnecessary waste is to write a meal plan for the entire week at the beginning of the week and only buy food suitable for these recipes. Impulse buys are usually worse for both your wallet and your waste balance. One problem is that some foods are only sold in three-packs or kilo bags. A viable alternative would be to buy fruits and vegetables unpackaged. These usually cost more, but if you only buy as much as you're sure to use, it shouldn't make a difference in the end. Plus, you save on the plastic waste.

 

3. Cook fresh instead of convenience food

The higher the degree of processing, the higher the price of the product. Accordingly, ready-made products are usually not only unhealthy, but also expensive and unsustainable. Large amounts of CO2 are also emitted during the storage of frozen products. For example, frozen fries are the fourth most climate-damaging food with 5.7 kilograms of CO2 equivalents, ahead of pork.
A time and money saving alternative is to cook several portions and freeze the rest for another occasion. The larger quantities make purchasing cheaper and you can defrost a meal at short notice at any time.

 

4. Less meat and dairy products

More and more people eat vegetarian and vegan. The diet style also has advantages in
terms of sustainability. Cattle farming and livestock farming in general have a major negative impact on the climate due to the high emission of greenhouse gases. Accordingly, in addition to meat, dairy products also leave a large ecological footprint. 13 kilograms of CO2 equivalents are emitted to obtain one kilogram of beef. For pork and poultry, the figure is 3.3 kilograms. There are now many alternatives to meat and dairy products, including from individual supermarkets' own brands, most of which are also packaged with recyclable paper.  Besides meat substitutes, there are also various ways to use natural meat alternatives. Some examples would be Pulled Mushrooms, Tofu or different vegetables like eggplant or celery. 

 

5. Plant vegetables yourself

You can't get any cheaper, more sustainable and more regional than growing your own food. This is possible even
on a small area such as the balcony. Tomatoes, but also carrots, lettuce and herbs are ideal for home cultivation. The associated seedlings can usually be bought
very cheaply. 

 

It should go without saying that it takes more effort to live and eat sustainably. However, by making small adjustments in your daily life, you can already make a big difference. In the end, everyone who eats more sustainably is doing something good for the environment.

 

 

Sellerieschnitzel mit Kartoffelecken und Feldsalat

Das Rezept basiert auf unseren Tipps:

We do without meat and replace it with celeriac. This is in season until February and is available at a reasonable price. Potatoes, lamb's lettuce and mushrooms are also available regionally and inexpensively during this time. For those who like to grow their own herbs, thyme and rosemary are available.

1.  First, remove the stalk of the celery. Then peel the celery and cut it into slices about 1.5cm thick. Put the slices in boiling water for ten minutes. Then leave to cool. 

2.  Clean lamb's lettuce and sort out brown leaves if necessary. Preheat oven to 180°C convection (200°C top bottom heat).

3.  Sauté mushrooms in a little oil, after seven minutes deglaze with balsamic vinegar, season with sugar, salt and pepper and
then chill.

4. First, quarter the potatoes and place on a baking sheet. Crush the garlic cloves and place them on the baking tray. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary, add olive oil at the end and mix everything well. 

Then bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven. After 20 minutes, turn over once.

5.  Build a breading line for the cutlets: fill one container with flour, one with three eggs and one with breadcrumbs. The
Container with the eggs and season the celery slices with salt and pepper.

6.  Place the celery slices in each container one at a time so that the entire slice ends up covered with breadcrumbs.

7.  Finally, add oil to a skillet and fry the cutlets for three minutes on each side over medium-high heat until golden brown.

8. Now add the lamb's lettuce to the dressing and mix together. Arrange everything and enjoy.

Zutaten:

Sellerieschnitzel:
  • 1 celeriac
  • Flour
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Salt, bell pepper, paprika powder
Feldsalat:
  • 100g lamb's lettuce
  • 50g mushrooms
  • 3-4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • optional: walnuts as topping
Kartoffelecken:
  • 500g potatoes (firm boiling)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • Rosemary, thyme (fresh or dried)
  • Salt, pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil

Authors: Ayleen Bock, Jonas Hiller