What's on your plate in the new year?
For anyone pledging to "eat better" in 2017, Oxfam America has an idea.
The organization joined forces with the brilliant minds behind some of the country's most innovative restaurants to create a recipe series called Eat for Good.
In Eat for Good, Oxfam America compiled some tasty recipe ideas to show how much good you can do with your food. And not just for yourself — for the world.
By making minor tweaks to how we buy, cook, and eat, we can make a big difference for our planet and millions of people in it. Here are a few ideas to get you going (used with Oxfam's permission):
1. Utilize your leftovers — and reduce food waste — with this skillet chilaquiles dish. Delicious and easy!
We throw away so much food, it's embarrassing. Before tossing your leftover vegetables, beans, meat, or stale chips into the trash, why not turn them into dinner instead?
2. Cut down on energy use — and wasted water — with this sweet pear and apple salad.
Energy-saving tip: When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat and cover the pan with a lid to waste less energy and water. It's good practice for future meals, too!
3. Support global farmers with this chickpea rice pilaf.
Rice is a staple crop produced by millions of farmers around the world, but only a small percentage of what we spend on rice — if any of it — actually goes back to them. To counteract this, look for products and brands that ensure small-scale food producers get their fair share when you're out shopping.
4. Satisfy your sweet tooth AND help small farmers with an espresso chocolate chip angel food cake.
90% of cocoa comes from small farms, so when buying chocolate for recipes, look for a brand that guarantees farmers a fair price.
5. Save energy (and cleanup time) with this one-pot kale and tomato stew.
Dirty dishes begone! This entire meal is prepared using one pot, which makes cleanup a breeze and requires a lot less energy. Little by little, save on that energy bill (and reduce your energy use!).
6. Go meatless for the night with this squash blossom risotto — you won't even miss the meat!
Did you know it take nearly 2,000 gallons of water just to produce just one pound of meat? Yowza. Cutting back on your meat consumption saves a lot of water and reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
7. Forget trashing those carrot tops! Turn them into a pesto instead.
Your wallet and the environment will thank you when you turn would-be trash into your next pesto sauce.
Find even more recipes from Oxfam's series here.
In our world of 7 billion people, enough food is produced every day to feed 10 billion. Still, 795 million people are undernourished.
This is a lopsided problem that we can all help to fix.
The issues of global hunger and poverty are central to our ability to move forward as a world. Whether you aim to waste less food, reduce energy use, buy fair-trade-certified products, or only shop for food that's in season, little steps add up in ensuring global farmers are given their fair share, holding the food industry to a higher ethical standard, and protecting the planet for future generations.
Our decisions as consumers make an impact. In this new year, try to do your part in being extra thoughtful in your food decisions. Isn't it great to know that you can have your cake — and eat it, too — for a better future?