Exploring Beyond the Table: The Importance of Nutrition and Environmental Sustainability

In the month of March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the United States invites us to reflect on the relationship between our daily diet and the health of the planet.

This is a moment to consider how our dietary choices affect our individual health and the environment in which we live.

We will explore the interconnection between nutrition and environmental sustainability, highlighting the importance of adopting dietary habits that promote environmental conservation.

This article has been made possible thanks to the contribution of Ana Paola Garza, Director of Community Outreach and Engagement at MADRC.

Ana Paola has dedicated her career to promoting research in health and nutrition, fostering relationships with community and municipal organizations to raise awareness about the importance of a balanced and sustainable diet.

Her experience and leadership in this field provide us with invaluable insight into how we can go beyond the table to improve both our health and the planet.

Strategies for Healthy and Sustainable Eating

Daily decisions about our diet can make a significant difference in our future well-being and the health of our planet.

It’s important to consider not only the foods and beverages we consume at home but also snacks, grab-and-go breakfasts, and meals eaten outside the home.

Our food choices also impact the health of our planet. Have you ever considered the work required to produce the food we eat? This includes how foods are grown, processed, and distributed, as well as their impact on food security.

Beyond nourishing our bodies, what else can we do to improve our health and the environment? Here are some tips to go beyond the table:

  1. Adopt a Healthy Eating Routine: Choose nutritious foods, even when eating out. Many establishments offer nutritional information on the menu or online to help you make healthier choices.
  2. Balance Your Plate: Ensure each meal contains a source of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fiber. For example, a plate of rice with beans and salad provides a balanced combination.
  3. Shop Mindfully: Make a shopping list and look for deals when buying groceries. Choose fresh foods and lean proteins like fish, chicken, and yogurt.
  4. Support Local Farmers: Visit local farms or farmers’ markets to learn about food cultivation and support local farmers. Participate in community agriculture programs or “Farm Share” to enjoy seasonal fresh produce.
  5. Reduce Food Waste: Create new recipes with leftovers, separate organic waste, and consider joining composting programs in your community.

Resources on Nutrition in Massachusetts:

National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
This resource provides a variety of tools and educational materials to promote healthy eating during National Nutrition Month and beyond.

Massachusetts Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND):
MAND offers local resources, educational events, and access to nutrition and dietetic professionals in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) – Nutrition and Physical Activity Program:
It provides information on nutrition policies, community programs, and resources to promote healthy lifestyles in Massachusetts.

Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Massachusetts:
Works to improve access to healthy foods and promote physical activity in communities across the state.

Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy:
The Friedman School offers educational resources, research, and community programs related to nutrition and food policy.

Boston Public Health Commission – Nutrition Services:
Offers nutrition services, education programs, and resources to promote healthy eating in the city of Boston.