“DIET”—a two-syllable word that is quite intimidating to a lot of people. What more if it is a diet that must also be a climate-friendly one? Can you do it? Can you sustain it? The “Earth Eats” speakers made it look simple and enjoyable! In observance of Earth Day 2022, First Gen Corporation, through its corporate social responsibility department, and First Philippine Holdings Corporation’s Wellness Wednesdays, hosted “Earth Eats,” an online discussion on what we can consume that is both healthy and climate-friendly. The lineup of speakers included a registered nutritionist, a climate activist chef and a plant-based chef.
Anna Teresa Orillo, RND, MSc, a nutritionist-dietitian and assistant professor at the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food, University of the Philippines Los Baños, discussed the framework of food, nutrition and environment, and the status of Filipino diets and nutrition. Orillo highlighted the need to be concerned about sustainable diets; this way, we would know “the boundaries both for human health and food production to ensure healthy diets from sustainable food systems.”
The second speaker complemented the discussion by sharing his views as chef and climate activist on how our diets contribute to climate action. Chef Jam Melchor, founder of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement and country head of Slow Food Youth Network Philippines, gave an overview of which diets we can subscribe to. Whichever diet one chooses, Melchor encouraged everyone to be mindful of the food they consume—that the food must be traceable, locally sourced and does not contain toxic chemicals. Lastly, he stressed that healthy eating is best paired with an active lifestyle and good sleeping habits.
The third speaker, Mae Vinluan-Dolonius, founder and president of Studio Plantmaed and executive chef at OLOF’s Wife Mindful Kitchen, shared her personal journey to find self-love through food. She even did a live demo on preparing a healthy dish from easily accessible kitchen ingredients.
“Know your options” is a great takeaway from the “Earth Eats” session. Climate-friendly meals may be daunting, but they are simple, enjoyable and easily accessible as presented by the speakers. Maybe it is time to revisit your kitchen, explore local suppliers and create climate-friendly meals for your health and for the planet. (Story/Photos by: Dianne Datu)