Lots of recipes are good for your body; here are 7 that are good for the planet.
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Gates Foundation: The Story of Food

For anyone pledging to "eat better" in 2017, Oxfam America has an idea.

The organization joined forces with the brilliant minds behind some of the country's most innovative restaurants to create a recipe series called Eat for Good.

Food is the best.  


In Eat for Good, Oxfam America compiled some tasty recipe ideas to show how much good you can do with your food. And not just for yourself — for the world.

By making minor tweaks to how we buy, cook, and eat, we can make a big difference for our planet and millions of people in it. Here are a few ideas to get you going (used with Oxfam's permission):

1. Utilize your leftovers — and reduce food waste — with this skillet chilaquiles dish. Delicious and easy!

Image via iStock.

We throw away so much food, it's embarrassing. Before tossing your leftover vegetables, beans, meat, or stale chips into the trash, why not turn them into dinner instead?

Recipe here.

2. Cut down on energy use — and wasted water — with this sweet pear and apple salad.

Image via iStock.

Energy-saving tip: When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat and cover the pan with a lid to waste less energy and water. It's good practice for future meals, too!

Recipe here.

3. Support global farmers with this chickpea rice pilaf.

Image via iStock.

Rice is a staple crop produced by millions of farmers around the world, but only a small percentage of what we spend on rice — if any of it — actually goes back to them. To counteract this, look for products and brands that ensure small-scale food producers get their fair share when you're out shopping.

Recipe here.

4. Satisfy your sweet tooth AND help small farmers with an espresso chocolate chip angel food cake.

Image via iStock.

90% of cocoa comes from small farms, so when buying chocolate for recipes, look for a brand that guarantees farmers a fair price.

Recipe here.

5. Save energy (and cleanup time) with this one-pot kale and tomato stew.

Image via iStock.

Dirty dishes begone! This entire meal is prepared using one pot, which makes cleanup a breeze and requires a lot less energy. Little by little, save on that energy bill (and reduce your energy use!).

Recipe here.

6. Go meatless for the night with this squash blossom risotto — you won't even miss the meat!

Image (cropped) via Maggie McCain/Flickr.

Did you know it take nearly 2,000 gallons of water just to produce just one pound of meat? Yowza. Cutting back on your meat consumption saves a lot of water and reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Recipe here.

7. Forget trashing those carrot tops! Turn them into a pesto instead.

Image (cropped) via Marc Falardeau/Flickr.

Your wallet and the environment will thank you when you turn would-be trash into your next pesto sauce.

Recipe here.

Find even more recipes from Oxfam's series here.

In our world of 7 billion people, enough food is produced every day to feed 10 billion. Still, 795 million people are undernourished.

This is a lopsided problem that we can all help to fix.

The issues of global hunger and poverty are central to our ability to move forward as a world. Whether you aim to waste less food, reduce energy use, buy fair-trade-certified products, or only shop for food that's in season, little steps add up in ensuring global farmers are given their fair share, holding the food industry to a higher ethical standard, and protecting the planet for future generations.

Our decisions as consumers make an impact. In this new year, try to do your part in being extra thoughtful in your food decisions. Isn't it great to know that you can have your cake — and eat it, too — for a better future?

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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