Healthy Food That Also Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

Most of us know there are benefits to going organic and going “green.” Although both are beneficial in the pursuit of Active Wellness and for planet Earth, there are differences. Going organic is health-centered while going green requires sustainable practices that impact economic, social and ecological factors that help protect Earth and its resources. In other words, sustainable food is virtually always organic, but not all organic food is sustainable.

Choosing sustainable food helps reduce an individual’s carbon footprint, which is the “amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide.”1 The Food andAgriculture Organization of the United Nations claims that by switching to organic agriculture farmers can reduce up to 66% of carbon dioxide emissions.2 Large agricultural companies argue that some organically grown produce have a higher overall energy consumption and land use. This discrepancy presents the most obvious difference between simply organic, and actually sustainable, food.

The rule of thumb is that the less processed the food is, the more sustainable it is. Look at it this way: when you eat a raw organically grown vegetable or fruit, you are eliminating the carbon footprint of the power used in cooking by gas or electricity. Also, some vegetables have a carbon footprint nearly as serious as meat, because they are grown in greenhouses that use a lot of heat and light—for example, hothouse tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Therefore, the approach to reducing your carbon footprint with what you eat requires multiple behaviors:

  • Eat locally produced organic food. An estimated 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food. Transporting food requires petroleum-based fuels, and many fertilizers are also fossil fuel-based.3
  • Reducing your consumption of non-grass fed red meat and dairy is not only environmentally friendly but also heart friendly. Livestock is responsible for 14.5% of manmade global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from feed production and processing, and the methane that beef and sheep emit. Every day without meat and dairy reduces your carbon footprint by eight pounds or 2,920 pounds a year.4
  • Research which fruits and vegetables are most carbon-friendly. For example, lentils require very little water to grow. They actually clean and fortify the soil, making it easier to grow other crops. Beans in general (including kidney, black, pinto, etc.) have a low carbon and water footprint. These legumes also have high nutritional values because of their protein and fiber content. Rice, on the other hand, is water intensive.
  • Mussels are harvested on long collector ropes suspended in oceans, and while growing, they eat naturally occurring food in the water. In the process, they filter and clean the water, even extracting carbon to make their shells. They have very little environmental impact.5
  • Buy fish in season from local farmer’s markets or fisheries that practice sustainable fishing. As people become more educated about overfishing, the island of Palau is leading the way in protecting its oceans from poaching and has outlawed bottom trawling. In 2015, Palau established the largest no-take zone in the world, 193,000 square miles of ocean that cannot be fished, mined or drilled.6 Palau now has a range of partners from commercial, non-profit and governmental organizations, including U.S.-based SkyTruth, a nonprofit that monitors and reports poaching to the police.
  • Buy food in bulk when possible. The less packaging, the more sustainable the food. Use your own recyclable and reusable containers.
  • Eat what you buy. Reduce food waste by freezing excess and repurposing leftovers. Teach your children early in their lives to develop eating habits that are not only healthy but also helpful to planet Earth. Waste not, want not.

As you reduce your carbon footprint, Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix can help you with the transition to being more plant-based in your diet. It’s made with organically grown ingredients that provide a nutritious source of vegan protein.

1 https://timeforchange.org/what-is-a-carbon-footprint-definition

2 https://www.terrapass.com/eat-your-way-to-a-smaller-carbon-footprint

3 https://cotap.org/reduce-carbon-footprint/

4 https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2018/12/27/35-ways-reduce-carbon-footprint/

5 https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/environment-food-cooking-sustainability/

6 https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/how-a-tiny-island-is-showing-the-world-how-to-prot/

 

Basic Health Trends for 2019

Some notable health trends for 2019 are carried over from 2018 as more people take on the Active Wellness lifestyle. Here’s a look at what’s coming up for 2019 and amazingly, how Nikken products continue to be trendsetters throughout the years.

  • Medicinal mushrooms and herbs are finding their way into everyday food and drinks. Adaptogenic herbs can now be found in coffee bars and tea shops.1

Adaptogens are found in Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox, Kenzen® Clarity, Kenzen Lactoferrin™ 2.0 and Kenzen® Immunity, which is formulated with 14 different species of mushrooms!

  • More gadgets are popping up to help us recover from strenuous activities. According to CEO Martin Tobias of Upgrade Labs, “Modern recovery technologies use stronger signals like vibration, infrared light, targeted compression, intense cold, intense heat, powerful detoxification, and advanced nutrition to speed recovery and development.”2

Virtually every Nikken nutritional supplement targets not only health maintenance but helps the body recover from daily stresses. In addition, the KenkoTouch®, the MagCreator, CM Complex Cream and the KenkoGround™ specifically help overcome muscle fatigue.

  • Last year, sales of plant-based meat grew to 23% and is forecast to continue expanding in 2019. Plant-based dairy was 13% of all milk sales in 2018 and also expected to grow in 2019.
  • Plant–based fish and seafood, which reported sales increase of 72% from 2017 to 2018, is predicted to really expand in a big way.5 New companies are entering the market as it heats up. Managing Partner T.K. Pillan of PowerPlant Ventures says, “If awareness of the negative impacts of ocean fishing and contaminants spread quickly, plant-based fish could follow the plant-based meat market in its recent accelerated growth.” 3

Adds Eric Schnell, co-founder of Good Catch, a company that focuses on plant-based fish for vegans and those with fish allergies, “There are 300 marine animals that are fished around the world for consumption and only 30 land animals, so the opportunity to disrupt the marine category is 10 times bigger than chicken, beef and pork.”4

A prime example of using renewable plant sources rather than depleting marine supplies is Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA with omegas 3, 6 and 9 derived from flaxseed oil, red algae and cranberry seed oil.

  • As awareness of the importance of sleep for overall health grows, people are tracking their sleep patterns to find ways to improve the quality of their resting hours. According to virtually every sleep expert, it’s important to maintain a consistent sleep-wake schedule. That translates to waking up and going to bed at the same time, as much as possible, and not deviating too much on weekends or days off from work. At Nikken, we believe the Kenko Sleep System can help poor sleepers achieve their best rest!
  • Digestive health is set to become a significant trend in 2019. The Kroger Company in Cincinnati put out information stating that “medical studies show that a healthy gut is the foundation of overall wellness, and more than ever before, consumers are seeking foods that support self-care and healthy immune systems.” 5

Kenzen Lactoferrin™ 2.0 and Kenzen® Digestion Complex 4-20 support optimal digestion*, nutrient absorption*, the proliferation of good gut bacteria* and overall health.

  • As we continue to live in a world where instant gratification is so desired, fast food is not going away. The good news is that there is a growing trend toward healthy eating in the form of meal replacement shakes, salads to go and nutrient-dense take-out food. According to Mintel, a market research firm that forecasts data for thousands of consumer goods markets worldwide, “On-the-go consumers are shopping for grab and go breakfasts, quick snacks and dinner time solutions. Consumers are expecting high-quality food and beverage options that fit into their fast-paced, time-crunched lifestyles without having to sacrifice health goals or flavor.”6

Look no further than Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix, which can be a meal or a snack, depending on your needs. It’s convenient and versatile, suitable for vegans and contains MCTs for your brain! It is an instant meal that supports the GI tract with an enzyme blend combined with probiotics.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

1 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/2019-health-trends-forecast-300759858.html

2, 3, 4, https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/wellness-trends-2019

5 https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/12959-digestive-health-a-top-trend-heading-into-2019

6 https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2018/11/30/Mintel-s-top-food-trends-for-2019-From-healthy-aging-to-convenient-food-hacks#