Eat less meat, go vegan, don’t eat avocados, Seaspiracy, Cowspiracy, too much plastic, which milk to get… agh there is so much NOISE around food and the environment! It can feel overwhelming to try and decide what to buy and what to eat. Where do we start? Well how about at lunch?
Becky Alexander is the food columnist for The Herts Advertiser and author of Packed and a new book The Green Lunch Book, out in January 2022.
Also see Becky’s short #SustFest21 video – Love Your Lunch! Watch this short video to get shopping tips and creative ideas for making veggie/vegan lunches.
Venue Online via becky-alexander.com
So, you’ve got the message that as a planet we need to eat less meat, fish and dairy. Now, how do you do that, and it fit into family life (with all their requirements), without having to prep different meals each day? We all know we also need to cut back on the amount of single-use packaging we buy.
- Switching to plant-based might feel easier at lunch. You can make that swap without impacting on evening meals (if that is a barrier to you).
- There are so many options – salads, soups, wraps, dips, things on toast, nut butters, falafel, chickpeas, hummus, butterbeans, black beans, lentils… there are so many ways to get protein into your lunch without meat and fish.
- Ham, chicken pieces, honey-roasted salmon flakes etc all come wrapped in plastic. Switching to pulses and beans for your lunch protein can mean you cut back on plastic – you can buy ready-cooked beans and pulses in cans and jars. You could also prep your own and buy dried from a refill shop/stall if you have time.
- Britain’s “lunch on the go” habit is generating 10 BILLION items of packaging waste a year (2019). Little tubs of salad, sandwich boxes with see-through windows, snack pots, crisp packets, dressing pots, sachets of sauce etc… A lot of this is not recycled and goes in black bin bags. Even if you put it in the right collection, the UK recycles only 10% of its own plastic waste, shipping the rest. By making your own lunch you can cut back on that by reusing a lunchbox, wax wrap, jam jar etc.
- Some easy options are: beans on toast; tomato and butterbean soup; scrambled tofu with pesto (very TikTok); black beans mashed into wraps with tomato and pepper; roast vegetables with lentils. You only need 5 new lunch ideas and that’s midweek sorted!
So, why not try a few more plant-based lunches this week?
For more plant-based lunch ideas go to becky-alexander.com for free recipes. The Green Roasting Tin and One Pot, Pan, Planet are great books for creative vegan and vegetarian lunches.