Extension Human Nutrition
Healthy Sustainable Diets

Making Everyday Choices for a Healthy Sustainable Diet
 

View or download the Fact Sheet and Leader's Guide by clicking on the links below:

Making Everyday Choices for a Healthy Sustainable Diet Fact sheet and Leader’s Guide

You may order copies of the Fact sheet and/or Leader's Guide visiting the KSRE publications library.

Use your food, and food-related, purchases to reinforce what you value. Consumers’ choices shape our food supply.

  • Dietary impacts on health are well known, and better health can lead to large savings on medical expenses.

  • The impact on saving environmental resources is also huge. For instance, our current food choices create a 27% larger carbon footprint than Americans’ driving habits do.

Don’t wait, expecting the government or the big food companies to solve all of our sustainability problems. People – YOU, for example – can make many small changes over time, starting with at least one today.

“Sustainable” diets meet our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. But what can a person do to help achieve this goal? The fact sheet offers dozens of ideas for simple everyday ways to have a tasty, healthful and sustainable diet (Read which references were used to write the fact sheet here.)

The changes you make to be more sustainable will make a big difference to:

  • Maximize health (how you look and feel) for yourself, your children, their children, and so on

  • Save money

  • Increase the well-being of the environment

  • Improve the vitality of our local communities (increase their food production capacity and your own food security)

The suggestions in the fact sheet are grouped into seven categories:

  1. Choose nutrient-rich foods.

  2. Eat locally-produced foods when available.

  3. Buy from businesses with sustainable practices when possible.

  4. Minimize avoidable food losses and waste.

  5. Limit energy use.

  6. Limit water use.

  7. Minimize packaging and wrapper waste.


Questions or concerns about this page should be directed to Dr. Mary Meck Higgins, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., Extension Specialist, Human Nutrition and Associate Professor, Department of Human Nutrition, Room 202 Justin Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS  66506. Phone: 785-532-1671. email: mhiggins@ksu.edu

 
Audio and Video Files
Resources with Additional Information

Tips for conserving water in your home here

Calculate a portion of your carbon footprint here or here or here

Calculate the global-warming carbon scores of various meals here

Find which week various kinds of fruits and vegetables are in-season in Kansas here

Download a free recipe book by the fact sheet author featuring fresh local fruits and vegetables here

Download a free recipe book by the fact sheet author featuring various kinds of protein here

Locate farmers markets here

Locate direct-sales farms, local-food restaurants and farmers markets in Eastern Kansas here

Locate direct-sales farms, CSAs and farmers markets anywhere in the U.S. here

Read about nutrition from the farm to your table here

Download four seasonal grocery shopping lists here

Read how to preserve foods here

Read how to grow your own food and make compost here

Read what consumers mean when they talk about "clean" foods and beverages here

Resources to eat, grow, shop and cook sustainably, healthfully, and in support of locally-grown here

Download two pocket guides for sustainable fish choices here and here

When considering buying fish, send a text to 30644 with the word fish followed by the type of fish you are considering. You’ll get a text telling if your choice is green (sustainable), yellow (eat occasionally) or red (not sustainable)

Get ratings for the sustainability of national food brands and other products here

Compare many USDA-certified biobased products here

Get food waste reduction tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency here

Calculate the energy used by your kitchen appliances here

Read about local and regional food systems here

Read about sustainable agriculture practices here, here and here

Read the principles of healthy sustainable food systems here

Read recommendations to promote sustainable diets here

Read It’s Easy to be Green here

Read Green Choices for Selecting, Preparing and Serving Meals here

Get more resources here