Eating green at Christmas? You can, or rather you must. This holiday represents the ideal time to shelter at home with family and friends, sharing special moments and, of course, delicious meals. But what exactly does “good food” mean today? In addition to organoleptic qualities, food must respect criteria that go beyond simple taste. As Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, claims, food must be «good, clean and fair. Clean, i.e. produced according to environmentally friendly methods; fair, capable of guaranteeing respect for those who work there. Here are some rules to follow during Christmas holidays to adopt a greener approach to food.
Eating green: what food choices to make during the holidays
During the holidays it is time to favor high quality foods, possibly organic or from integrated agriculture with low environmental impact. Reduce your meat consumption and, when you choose it, opt for meat from controlled farms and organic. Prefer local, regional or national products to reduce the environmental impact of transport and, if possible, purchase them in bulk, to avoid unnecessary packaging. The choice of wine can also be oriented towards organic options. For those who want alternatives to meat, legumes are a valid option, providing high-quality proteins and ingredients for tasty recipes.
Avoid foods at excessively low prices, as they often hide hidden costs for the environment and workers. Avoid buying products from distant places and choose sustainable alternatives to endangered fish such as salmon. Opt for lesser-known, but equally tasty fish, a low environmental and seasonal impact, such as horse mackerel, zerro, tuna, tombarello, dolphin fish and red mullet. Also molluscs such as clams, mussels and oysters; and shellfish such as white shrimp (if coming from specific regions) and corn on the cob are conscious choices.
A sustainable celebration: don’t waste!
Reduce wasteespecially at the table, carefully preserving food and avoiding throwing away what remains. Avoid plastic films and prefer reusable containers with caps. When you go shopping, calculate the precise number of people and prefer bulk products to reduce packaging. When setting the table, avoid disposable plastic tableware and, if necessary, opt for compostable alternatives.
Too Good to Go together with Yougov have reported the data regarding the waste of Italians at the table during the holidays: the 40% of Italians waste over a quarter of Christmas food, with panettone leading the way, despite its high cost. However, they also emerge positive behaviors: