Christmas. Every year we fill ourselves to the brim, gaining weight, only to then make a desperate effort to shed the excess pounds and break naughty eating habits. It’s time to rethink how to celebrate Christmas and in turn, how we affect the world we live in.
The Christmas turkey is a tradition long followed, but we are coming to a new understanding of how meat affects climate change. Swapping a turkey dinner for chicken could more than half CO2 emissions. If you wanted to go further, a salmon dinner would result in even fewer emissions.
Although turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day go a long way, we’re still wasting too much food. ReFood News estimate that this year, 1,315 tonnes of turkey will be wasted; equivalent to 394,500 kWh of energy – that’s 23.6 years of energy usage. A little excessive, no?
It’s common to overcook for the family at Christmas, but why not take a different approach this year? You could save yourself cash and not have to deal with unwanted leftovers. Even if it sounds like a lot of hassle to begin with, asking your family what they want on their plate could help keep wastage and cost down. Going as far as a questionnaire might even seem absurd, but in this age of Facebook polls and instant availability, it’s easily doable and could save more food waste than you’d think.
As much as we enjoy meat, consuming less of it is better for our bodies and the environment. A study carried out by Left Foot Forward has found that cutting animal production by 25-50% in Europe would result in an almost proportional reduction of 25-40% in greenhouse gases. With the rise of vegetarianism and veganism, it’s easier than ever to enjoy meat-free-food. Why not try pan-fried Brussels sprouts with tofu bacon, or, if there aren’t many sprout lovers in your family, get creative with a roasted apple and squash salad with pomegranate vinaigrette?
What if everyone had the task of bringing one indulgent item to Christmas and shared it amongst everybody? Let’s get into the spirit of sharing and community at Christmas. Besides, when we buy excessively and have lots of food surrounding us, it’s too easy to lose control. Being more mindful surrounding Christmas eating and spending habits could save money, time and make January a happier month.