4. Choose organic.

Even though the USDA has moved toward broadening the definition to include some farming practices that critics think shouldn't qualify, this label still stands for reduced chemical use.

5. Eat less meat.

Corn-fed cattle require eight to 10 pounds of grain to produce a pound of edible beef—a staggeringly poor return on investment. Moreover, grain-fed, pen-raised animals consume half of all the antibiotics used in America, and livestock is a bigger source of greenhouse gases than the transportation sector. Opt for grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, lamb, pork, and poultry, and make it a biweekly dish, not a nightly one. And if you worry that your health will suffer, consider this: According to the National Institutes of Health, most Americans already get more than enough animal protein—a single seven-ounce serving is as much as a woman needs in a day. A container of yogurt, beans and rice, some peanut butter, or a couple of eggs are good alternatives to go toward meeting your daily requirement.

6. Cook—and eat—together.

Americans are eating more calories nowadays than ever before, and spending less time and energy preparing food. The typical household devotes about 30 minutes a day to cooking, half as much as we did in 1970. Quick, convenient meals have liberated women from the kitchen, but the hidden costs of processed foods are devastating our health and that of the environment. And the replacement of the family dinner with grab-and-go microwave meals is linked to a variety of social problems, ranging from teenage drug use to depression. But eating wholesome foods doesn't have to chain anyone to the stove, either. A head of broccoli can be sautéed with garlic in the same amount of time it takes to boil up a box of macaroni and cheese. A few pounds of tomatoes will slow-roast in a barely warm oven all day while you tend to other things. And don't forget the original fast foods: an apple, a plum, a carrot, some nuts. They'll satisfy your cravings—and your conscience.


Next Story