Baby Steps to Eating Green

By Shabana Parveen

February 2020

Eating green? What does this mean? Making sure you always have lots of greens on your plate? Yes that is a good habit, but in this case, we’re talking about taking baby steps to change your eating habits.

Over the last few years, we have gradually changed the way we eat in our household: From eating either meat or poultry almost every day to once or occasionally twice a week. The best thing about this transition is that we eat more vegetables, beans and pulses.

How have we done this? By taking baby steps. Why have we decided to change our eating habits? There are many reasons but I’ll focus on the main points. Before I go into this, I just want to clarify that I’m not a doctor or nutritionist. I'm just a person who wants her family to eat well and be as healthy as possible.

Firstly, eating too much meat is not good for you, eating too much of any food isn’t good. A balanced diet is so important to our bodies, as it provides us with essential vitamins, minerals and even fats (not all dietary fats are bad).

Another reason we decided to reduce meat consumption is because meat farming has a high water and carbon footprint (a lot of water and energy goes into rearing livestock for meat and poultry consumption). We’re striving towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle, to reduce our carbon footprint and really think about how much resources go into producing the food we eat.

Also, to follow the actions of our blessed Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has helped in changing our eating habits. Our Prophet (pbuh) would eat meat on occasions, and instead would eat more plant based food. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also encouraged moderation in eating; to fill one third of the stomach with food, one third with drink and one third with air.

So I’m not saying that we have the best diet and we’ve completely transformed our lifestyle to eco-friendly, but Alhumdulillah I’m grateful to have been able to make changes with our food habits. We try to use up all leftovers by sometimes creating a new dish or have the leftovers as a side for our meals the following day.

The foods we eat and I guess the amount of food we purchase (and don’t always eat) has impacts on the environment. An estimated one third of all food produced in the world goes to waste. We’re trying and striving to improve our eating habits, it’s a long journey, but we can start by walking baby steps...

By Shabana Parveen, Bahu Trust, United Kingdom

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