How to Go Green and Eat Healthy

Feeding your family healthily and being kind to the planet go hand in hand. With these 6 tips from the top eco-experts, it’s easy (and can even save you money).

Related To:

Mind the Packaging

One of best things we can do for our planet is to reduce our waste, says Sara Snow, TV host and author of Sara Snow's Fresh Living. Single-serving items may be convenient, but they often come in BPA-laden plastic and cost two to three times as much per serving — and generate lots of extra trash, says Madeleine Somerville, author of All You Need Is Less. When it comes to the container, Sara advises seeking out aseptic packaging (like Tetra Pak), which requires less energy to produce, is lighter and is easy to recycle.

Buy Local (and How to Know If It’s Actually Local)

Help small, local farms survive (something crucial to the survival of our ecosystem, according to Sara) by supporting them with dollars. But watch out for localwashing. When food is authentically local, it should show on the label where it has been produced, explains eco-blogger Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff of MommyGreenest.com. By supporting local food producers (or even growing your own), you also minimize pollution and nutrient loss from produce picked and transported before it was ripe, adds Madeleine.

Get Out of the Grocery Store Sometimes

Healthy options that are grown organically (whether they are certified or not) typically cost less at the farmers market because you're cutting out the middle man, says Sara. “And with fewer options, you may end up spending less money overall on wasteful impulse buys.”

Grassfed Is Good!

You probably already know about choosing organic when it comes to the “dirty dozen” (apples, celery, and bell peppers currently top the list). But many of the experts we spoke to also emphasized the importance of buying grassfed, USDA-organic meat and dairy. “Not only will you avoid antibiotics, hormones and GMOs, but studies show that grassfed is also higher in healthy Omega-3 fats and vitamins — and lower in saturated fat,” says Rachel.

Natural and Hormone-Free Not So Much

“Natural” can mean pretty much anything and isn’t regulated by the FDA, explains Alexandra Zissu, author of Planet Home and The Conscious Kitchen. Other meaningless labels according to green living expert Amy Todisco: “hormone-free” and “antibiotic free,” as the Consumer’s Union says there’s no verification system in place.

Shopping for Seafood? Use This Shortcut

Don’t feel bad if you can’t keep the sustainable seafood rules straight. “I don’t shop without the Seafood Watch pocket guide — which is updated regularly by the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium — on my phone or in my wallet,” says Rachel. In a hurry? Look for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label, advises Alexandra.

Next Up

Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste (and Save Money Too)

We throw out a staggering 40 percent of our food in America, which is not only taxing on the planet...but on our wallets too. These easy tips can help you save them both.

5 Easy Steps for Living a More Sustainable Life

You can make simple swaps to help save the planet.

How to Order Healthy at Any Restaurant

Eating out is one of the great joys of life. But if you're watching what you eat, a restaurant visit can sometimes feel like tiptoeing around nutritional land mines. Here are 10 top tips.

How Much Water Do You Need to Drink Each Day?

Find out if you're drinking enough water and staying hydrated during the summer months with these tips from Food Network.

How to Measure Wet Ingredients: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these simple steps to measuring liquid ingredients, then watch our how-to video.

How to Shop for Organic Produce

With such a wide variety of options, shopping for organic foods has gotten a lot more complicated. Use the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen to help save money and make the healthiest organic choices.

Smart Shopping Guide for Healthy Meals

Shopping for your week's groceries is always a puzzle. How do you get everything you need in one shot and avoid midweek runs for forgotten items? Here are some tips from the Food Network Kitchens.

What's So Bad About Trans Fats?

These dangerous fats lurk in lots of packaged foods. Find out what they are and how to avoid them.

What Nutrients You Absolutely Need When Pregnant

Wondering whether you’re getting the nutrients you need during your pregnancy? Find out five nutrients you should be getting and how to get them.

Why You Need Iron

Find out why this mineral is so essential, and how you can make sure you're getting enough.

Latest Stories