What is in this article?:
From beans to seafood, meat to dairy (and non-dairy alternatives), this guide will help you find the most eco-friendly, sustainable protein sources when you shop.
Most experts agree that eating a diet based largely on plant foods is healthier not just for our bodies, but also for the planet. For about 3 percent of Americans, the choice, then, is clear: Follow a vegetarian diet. But what if you care about your health and the environment, and prefer to include some protein from animal sources in your diet?
To help you make more informed choices at the store, Delicious Living took a close look at the eco-impact of common protein sources—both plant and animal—and chose our favorite recipes to match. The bottom line: The simplest way to reduce environmental impact is to eat less resource-intensive meat, especially beef. And when you do eat meat, be choosy about where it comes from and how it’s raised. Buying organic, pastured, locally raised meat whenever possible makes a big difference—and sends a message about consumer priorities to factory-farm producers.
What does this mean in your kitchen? If you’ve traditionally relied on meat entrées, try branching out with recipes that include hearty plant proteins like beans, soy, and lentils. And remember, you may be eating more protein than you need: One 6-ounce chicken portion, for instance, nearly meets the average woman’s daily protein needs of 55 grams, as determined by the USDA.