Is your diet sustainable?

Sustainable nutrition - saving the world with pleasure

A healthy environment is essential for a good life. 99 percent of those questioned agree with a survey by the Federal Environment Agency.

Why is a sustainable diet also important for an intact environment? Isn't it enough to pay attention to energy consumption and flight emissions? Unfortunately not: the production of food consumes large amounts of energy and resources. This pollutes the environment so much that 35 percent of Germany's ecological footprint comes from diet.

The production, transport and storage of food cause a lot of environmental damage, from water scarcity to soil destruction through erosion to overfishing of the oceans. Intensive, unsustainable cultivation of agricultural land reduces soil quality and also pollutes the environment.

The production of animal-based food is particularly dramatic: around 80 percent of the world's agricultural area is needed to produce it. However, animal foods only cover 17 percent of the world's food supply. A small part for such a large area.

In addition to protecting the environment, sustainable nutrition should achieve even more:

Sustainable nutrition should have a positive effect on the four dimensions of environment, society, health and economy. The goal is to improve the current living situation of the people in addition to a sustainable and fair cultivation of the earth without negatively influencing the chances of future generations.

To put it succinctly: Those who eat sustainably buy regionally, pay fairly, eat seasonally and cook consciously.

What does that mean for everyday life?

With pleasure to sustainable nutrition

Sustainable nutrition starts in the shopping cart. There are many steps that don't all need to be taken right away. Even with small changes you make an active contribution.

Those who eat sustainably buy regionally, pay fairly, eat seasonally and cook consciously.

Plant-based mixed food as a basis

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends mixed food for the daily diet, which consists of 75 percent plant-based products and 25 percent animal products. The food pyramid can help with orientation.

Meat consumption makes up most of the ecological footprint of nutrition. But nobody has to do without sausage and schnitzel: The DGE recommends eating meat once to a maximum of two times a week. In terms of quantities, this means: no more than 300 to 600 grams per week.

If meat consumption falls, CO2 emissions can also fall: Compared to a meat-based diet, mixed plant-based foods can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent.

Consumer behavior: we have the choice ...

Even small changes in purchasing behavior can help protect the climate and improve your own health. We present two options for adapting your own consumer behavior:

  1. Further processing of food consumes a lot of energy, a lot of water and is at the expense of the nutrient content. With every purchase you can choose between fresh, little processed foods or heavily processed products. The key word is balance: It's not about only consuming raw food and doing without heated or industrially processed food. Healthy is a mixture of both.
  2. Those who shop consciously and plan their meals not only avoid a lot of waste, but also support a sustainable food industry and enjoy it. Our recipe database provides inspiration for balanced meals.

Tip: If you plan ahead, you can prepare delicious dishes for your lunch break, such as our 5-minute couscous salad in a glass.

Enjoyment? Also works regionally and seasonally!

The constant availability of plant-based foods pollutes the environment: fruits and vegetables come a long way. The greenhouses and warehouses consume a lot of energy. A diet that disregards regional and seasonal conditions increases greenhouse gas production.

The use of seasonally available fruit and vegetables makes an active contribution to sustainable nutrition. A seasonal calendar helps to keep track of things. Anyone who also purchases regionally not only sets an example for shorter transport routes, but also supports the local economy.

Another advantage: regional fruits often taste better. They were able to mature fully and are fresh because they did not have to endure a long transport.

By the way: If you don't want to buy bottled mineral water, but prefer to drink tap water, you can find out more about the quality of drinking water in Germany here: Drinking water - healthy and well tested.

Fairness doesn't just exist in sport - ecological quality

If you want to go a step further on the way to a more sustainable diet, you can also pay attention to the production conditions of the food and more often choose products with a fair trade or organic seal.

An example: When producing organic vegetables, the environmental impact can be reduced by 30 percent compared to conventional production.

In particular, the production of consumer goods such as coffee, tea or cocoa is associated with questionable living and working conditions.

Fair prices for organic food not only secure livelihoods and improve working conditions. They also protect our nature and its limited resources: farmers who work ecologically do not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. This reduces the burden on the environment from greenhouse gases and pollutants.