Meal prepping can seem like such an intimidating task. The moms of Instagram always seem to invest so much time into it, and for what? To end up eating some bland, flavorless recipe that was created and sponsored by some fitness guru on the internet. As the internet often does, meal prepping has been taken into the wrong hands.
I believe it’s time we take it back. Meal prepping can be, and is, so much more than boring recipes and a repetitive way to count your calories. Today, there are numerous tricks and tips people on the internet have come up with to make meal prepping a positive experience for yourself and the planet.
Meal prepping saves you time and money, but it also supports your body with a balanced, nutritious meal. Additionally, it helps protect the planet from further damage from pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. According to Project Drawdown, a nonprofit organization founded to determine solutions to climate change, food waste is responsible for “8% of all greenhouse gas emissions.”
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, we spend an average of 30-60 minutes every night cooking dinner. That doesn’t even take into account the time we take to cook ourselves breakfast, lunch or prepare our snacks throughout the day. Further, you spend double, even close to triple, as much money when eating out for every meal in comparison to meal prepping.
When meal prepping, you only need to take one trip to the grocery store to make one large purchase. What you pay for in one or two days’ worth of food at restaurants can pay for a whole week’s worth of groceries. By meal prepping, you can save yourself at least an hour every day preparing meals.
Meal prepping is automatically better for the planet than eating out because you create less waste. With meal prepping, you get rid of the single-use wrappers and containers fast-food chains use to transport food. It also cuts back on the amount of food that goes to waste. Each meal is portioned out ahead of time, which helps cut back on the number of leftovers and food scraps that are thrown out, either when you eat out or cook one meal at a time.
Meal prepping your own food also gives you the opportunity to purchase ingredients that are grown locally and organically. Instead of purchasing vegetables from the grocery store, try out a local farmers market instead. The Farm, a farmers market located in Pensacola, offers locally grown produce, fresh brown eggs and organically raised meats. Their website also states that you can preorder boxes specifically designed for meal preparation.
Overall, these options can help minimize your carbon footprint by simply decreasing the amount of transportation involved in the creation of your next meal. Through meal prepping, you spend less time in your car, as you take fewer trips to the grocery store or restaurants. When you purchase local goods, the food itself is transported far less than most of the goods you’ll find in the grocery store.
Dedicating one day to meal prepping can not only make you feel good, but it can also do wonders for the planet. Open up some windows, let the sunshine flow in and crank up some chill tunes to turn meal prepping into something deliciously constructive.