Happy Earth month! This month, we are going to be highlighting sustainable eating tips and food items to help improve your carbon footprint and lessen your impact on the planet. While there are many ways you can practice sustainable living, a lot of it starts with what you put on your fork. You can do this by adding more canned tomatoes into your diet, as these are a more sustainable option than fresh. Also, when shopping, choose MADE IN THE USA, to decrease your global footprint, and to get the sustainable quality you can count on.
So, if you’re looking for some ways to spice it up in the kitchen and cook more eco-friendly meals, be sure to follow along on social media for lots of culinary inspiration!
If you’re craving pasta, then go ahead and whip up this delicious recipe for Nona’s Beef Ragu! This entire meal can be made in a slow cooker, which makes it perfect for any night of the week. Plus, it’s kid-friendly, which makes dinner time even easier!
Vintage BBC Footage of the Spaghetti Harvest
Originally aired on the BBC in 1957 this fascinating look behind where our spaghetti comes from shocked millions of viewers at the time of it’s release. For some reason, it always feels fitting to reflect on this time of year.
PROCESSED TOMATOES, A SUSTAINABLE CHOICE, by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN
Every time you open a can or jar of tomatoes, you release the essence of that warm, summer day in which those perfectly ripe tomatoes were harvested. These tomatoes are picked at their top flavor and nutrition peak on the field before they are quickly whisked away to the processing plant to be canned, sealing in all of that good flavor and nutrition within just a few hours of harvest.
Beyond good taste and nutrition, you also make a more sustainable choice by choosing those preserved tomatoes. Why is it a more sustainable choice than fresh? The fresh tomato crop is typically picked about two weeks before maturity to withstand transportation, during which it requires more energy to refrigerate and transport. In addition, many fresh tomatoes are grown in Mexico, requiring longer transportation distances, or in heated, energy-intensive greenhouses before reaching your supermarket shelf.
Canned tomatoes and other tomato products are a sustainable option. However, new research shows that waste from producing tomato products can be repurposed using new green technology. Keep reading to learn more!
Here at Tomato Wellness, we are all about tomatoes, and for good reason! They are tasty, easy to incorporate in recipes, and have tons of health benefits. In addition to this, canned tomatoes are great for the environment, which means they are a sustainable option. When purchased canned, they can last longer on your shelf and will not go to waste! What makes canned tomatoes such a great addition to your diet is the lycopene content found within them. Lycopene is an extremely important antioxidant and can protect against disease such as cancer and heart disease.
Each year, the tomato processing industry creates between 600 thousand to 2 million tons of pomace . Pomace is the pulpy residue that is left over after processing the tomatoes. Usually, this pomace is discarded, leaving an enormous amount of food waste behind. It has been concluded that tomato pomace can be used to extract lycopene. This greatly reduces waste, as pomace that would have been discarded is repurposed. In addition to this, researchers are trying out a new method of extracting lycopene that can be much more eco-friendly. Previously, the most common method of extracting lycopene was using hexane, an organic solvent that is a pollutant . In search of a greener method, researchers have begun to use deep eutectic solvents (DES) . These solvents are sustainable, affordable, and easy to produce. The results from the first attempt with this method show that the results were comparable with the hexane method of extraction and show much promise for a more sustainable future!
While canned tomato products were already a sustainable option to begin with, coming up with an additional use for one of their byproducts with green technology is simply groundbreaking! So, the next time you choose a tomato product at the grocery store, remember that you’re doing good for the health of both your body and our planet.
1.Silva, Y. P., Ferreira, T. A., Jiao, G., & Brooks, M. S. (2019). Sustainable approach for lycopene extraction from tomato processing by-product using hydrophobic eutectic solvents. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 56(3), 1649–1654. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-019-03618-8
Earth Month is a great time to reflect on your choices and better your habits to improve the environment. Learn how you can help the planet with your fork!
Happy Earth Month! If you weren’t aware, April is the month where we raise awareness for sustainability, food waste, and taking care of our planet. While this should be something we do year-round, this month is a great time to reflect on your choices and better your habits to improve the planet’s health. Whether you have been focused on your carbon footprint for awhile now, or if you’re looking to begin your sustainability journey, this is the perfect time for everyone to put some extra love towards our planet. You can do this by learning how to lessen food waste, and while this may seem like an overwhelming task at first, it’s actually quite simple. You can start by eating with your fork! When you choose foods that are sustainable and eco-friendly, you better the environment with each bite you take. It doesn’t get much better than that!
When looking for sustainable foods, turn to canned, nonperishable items (such as canned beans, fruits, and vegetables) for an affordable, earth-friendly option. That’s why we love canned tomatoes! Not only are they versatile and delicious, but they are also an incredible sustainable food, as they don’t need as much energy as fresh tomatoes to refrigerate and transport. Since fresh tomatoes are generally grown in Mexico (which requires longer transportation distances) or in heated, energy-intensive greenhouses, they are not as sustainable-friendly as their canned counterparts. On the other hand, canned tomatoes are generally stored in steel cans when they reach their seasonal peak, which means that these cans are 100% recyclable, and the tomatoes stay nutritious! That’s a win all around! In addition to their sustainability factor, canned tomatoes also have a long shelf life, which makes them the perfect pantry item to have on hand. Whether you’re looking for a sweet or savory dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, canned tomatoes are a staple to have in the kitchen. This allows you to save time and money on those busy weeknights when you need to prepare a meal for the whole family, and there are countless flavorful and nutrient-rich recipes to choose from!
Considering food waste is also vital when it comes to improving environmental health. According to Feeding America, approximately $218 billion worth of food in the USA is thrown away each year! So, what can you do to offset this number? When it comes to purchasing foods, you should think a bit more about how you can utilize what you buy (i.e. create leftovers or meal prep) and what types of food are going to provide better use in the kitchen. Feeding America states that canned foods are much less likely to be wasted, as the canning process requires less resources, time, and money, which means less energy and water is used to make the product ready for purchase. What you choose to eat each day plays a part in food waste, and by making small changes in your daily life (like using canned foods instead of fresh foods), you can make a difference.
By practicing sustainable methods in your home this month (and throughout the year), you have the power to impact your community and help restore our planet’s health. So, what are you waiting for? Encourage your friends and family to take part of Earth Day with some actionable methods! Learn more about how you can help here.