How Does Meal Prepping Align With Sustainable Living?

Modern life is all about managing your priorities and keeping them balanced – including your career, your fitness, your social schedule – the whole shebang. And yet as concerns over the climate deepen and the future of the planet seems in peril, more of us are choosing to integrate sustainable practices into all of these elements – giving us a clear conscience, even if it can sometimes feel like a drop in the ocean of wider inaction.

How does meal prepping align with sustainable living?

The one area that can make the biggest impact in terms of sustainability is our diet – and the best news here is that meal prepping can actually help you live a more eco-friendly existence, while also enjoying the other benefits of this habit such as convenience and calorie control. Here’s how this plays out.

The Sustainable Perks of Meal Prepping Unwrapped

There’s a bigger overlap in the Venn diagram of sustainable living and meal prep than you might think, so let’s go over the key points that will get eco-warriors interested in this practice:

Reducing Food Waste

An estimated 30-40% of the food supply in the U.S. is wasted, according to the USDA. Meal prepping combats this by encouraging exact portion control, minimizing unnecessary leftovers and discouraging impromptu takeout that often results in excess.

The other benefit here is cost-related, since when you throw out ingredients that are past their best, that’s like tossing your wallet in the trash as well. So your move to sustainable meal prepping is not just altruistic, but also good for budgeting purposes.

Cutting Back on Packaging

Opting for bulk buying and avoiding individually wrapped items cut down on plastic use – which is a huge hazard to health, with only 6% being recycled. Reusable containers become the norm, echoing the principles of reduce and reuse which are widely touted as the most important steps towards sustainable living. Recycling is really a last resort in this context, rather than the green trend that it’s been portrayed as for decades.

Embracing Energy Efficient Cooking

Batch cooking leverages energy consumption more efficiently compared to preparing single meals multiple times a day or week – reducing your overall carbon footprint.

Better yet, you could switch to affordable low calorie dinner kits that come pre-prepared by chefs, meaning that you don’t need to spend any time or energy putting them together yourself. This is the ultimate in low-waste, low-cost living that’s totally aligned with the ethos of eco-friendliness you’re hoping to foster with meal prepping.

How does meal prepping align with sustainable living?

Supporting Local Producers

Planning allows for incorporating seasonal, local produce into your diet. This not only diminishes transportation emissions but also supports small-scale farmers and community agriculture initiatives. You could even set up your own raised beds to grow ingredients at home if you have the space – freeing yourself from the food industry altogether.

Adopting Mindful Eating Habits

With a plan in place, you’re less likely to succumb to convenience foods which often have high environmental costs in production and packaging. You can still consider sticking to other diet trends and established habits to hit goals, such as supplements to ensure you’re getting all the nutrition you need. But with mindful eating at the heart of your meal prepping strategy, you’ll find that your relationship with food improves, and is less of a tug of war that’s always playing on your mind and your waistline.

The Bottom Line

This clarion call for people to take meal prepping seriously as a way of living more sustainably might not work on everyone, but for those who chime with what we’ve discussed here, now’s the time to change your ways and not only restore more of your week for leisure rather than labor in the kitchen, but also to take control of your diet and feel the financial benefits alongside the environmental ones.

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