Melissa Hemsley is back with a perfectly-timed new cookbook to help you do your bit for the planet and eat more sustainably in 2020. Eat Green champions the idea that we can all make an impact with a few simple changes to our shopping and cooking habits. At a time when the sheer volume of information about how to be more sustainable can feel a little overwhelming, we love Eat Green for its simple and easy-to-adopt advice, from what to do with carrot tops to how to how to reduce single-use plastic in your kitchen, and for its practical but totally delicious recipes that will slot easily into your week. Here we've rounded up 10 of Melissa's super useful tips from the book to get you started on your journey to a greener 2020. Over to Melissa...
1. If you still enjoy meat, fish and dairy as part of your diet, like I do, make the extra effort to find the best quality and most sustainably-farmed produce that you can.
2. Look out for labels like 'grass fed', 'free range' and 'slow grown' and when it comes to fish, 'wild', 'line-caught', 'sustainable' and 'responsibly-sourced are good places to start. Don't be afraid to ask difficult questions: if something is labelled free range, ask how much time the chickens spend outside and how many there are per pen house.
3. Visit your local food market to support your local farmers and pick up delicious, seasonal produce.
4. Be prepared to be flexible and be inspired by the seasons and remember that if something isn't available you can always make a swap. In Eat Green I give lots of advice on how to switch up your fruit and veg according to what’s in season.
5. Learn to embrace the odds and ends that usually get thrown away, from herb stems to cheese rinds (check out Eat Green’s A-Z of parts of ingredients that are typically thrown away and what to do with them).
6. Save money and reduce food waste by keeping your cupboards stocked with multipurpose dry ingredients that you’ll come back to again and again.
7. Visit bulk buy and refill shops that allow you to bring your own containers to reduce plastic and take a reusable container with you to your fishmonger or butchers to avoid using a plastic bag.
8. Vote with your spending power by choosing to buy from companies with a conscience that are having a positive impact on their communities and the planet at large (there’s a handy list of my favourite socially responsible food and drink brands on page 285 of Eat Green).
9. Save up jars for storing dips, dressings and sauces in the fridge.
10. Instead of wrapping leftovers in cling film, foil or plastic baggies, pop them in a bowl and put a plate on top.
For more brilliant tips and Melissa's sustainable recipes, get your copy of Eat Green now.