by Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE
Did you know that Americans throw out 40% of their food? That is almost half–which is alarming, especially when you think about how almost half of the energy, water and land used for farming are wasted—YIKES!
The food that ends up in landfills then creates additional methane gas (greenhouse gases). So what can we do to be more environmentally friendly eaters? Any good dietitian would tell you to eat your produce vs. throwing it out because it is good for both you and the environment. Two things we can do in this regard are to not over-purchase, and compost. Composting recycles organic “waste” material (leaves & plant based kitchen scraps) to produce compost. Compost is rich in nutrients and is a great gardening material. Only 3% of people compost so there is room for improvement here. Some localities have composter bins available at reduced rates to encourage backyard composting Think summer project with the kids!
• In North Augusta: call 803-441-4245 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more or order a compost bin ($35.00).
• In other areas of the CSRA, you need to get a compost bin at a local store or simply designate a compost area in your yard. For more information see www.bit.ly/compostga.
In addition to composting, you can aim to use fruits that are about to go bad, in smoothies. And don’t forget to put the bananas in the freezer before they get too ripe. You can freeze them in the skin (best for use in banana bread) or peel, slice and then freeze (best for quick additions to smoothies).
Learn what other foods freeze well. For example guacamole and hummus can be frozen for later. Soups and most casseroles, such as lasagna, will freeze (think individual servings – for easy grab and go meals when needed). Foods that you don’t use also freeze well like that half a jar of marinara or half a box of chicken broth. Transfer them to freezer safe containers and freeze until needed. These suggestions help the environment and save money, a real win-win.
Lastly learning to cook using the whole food is a great way to eat for the earth. Check out this root to stem cooking resource www.bit.ly/root2stem
Easy and delicious sure to be a family favorite!
1-2 cups of raw chopped kale
1 cup higher protein milk (such as Fairlife® or Carbmaster®-plain)
½ cup of frozen mango chunks
1 medium banana cut into slices and frozen
1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
Place all ingredients and place into a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy.
Yield: 2 servings
Nutrient Breakdown: Calories 172, Fat 0g, Cholesterol, 80mg. Carbohydrate 27g, Fiber 4g, Sodium 70mg, Protein 9g, Potassium 780mg.
Diabetes Exchanges: 1 vegetables, 1/2 milk, 1 fruit
Kim’s Note: This smoothie is easily turned into smoothie packets for the freezer. Simply put the kale, mango, banana and ginger into individual plastic zip-top bags and store in the freezer. When ready to make the smoothie place the contents of a packet into a blender with the milk and blend. Smoothie packets make morning smoothies a breeze to prepare.
Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for University Health Care System. She lives in North Augusta with her husband and two children and she is the co-host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/eatingwellwithkim. To search for specific recipes go to www.universityhealth.org/ewwk. You can also watch the segments at www.wrdw.com/ewwk.
This article appears in the April 2019 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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