The Anatomy of Action
There’s an exciting challenge among the youth globally, organized by the UNEPMGCY – United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY). While the youth is the main actor in this challenge, everyone is encouraged to get involved.
The general theme focus on the food we eat and how we can help recreate a healthy environment through our daily habits. I hope you will join me in the challenge as I’ll be posting what I do to help my environment (please take a glimpse at the blog photo above to understand the challenge path). Let’s have fun while we make our world a decent and healthy place! And drop me comments on how it is going with you.
Please note that the 15-day challenge will not hinder our regular inspirational poetry/story blogs.
Why Proteins? Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. Proteins produce amino acids that the human body uses to build and repair muscles, bones and to make enzymes and hormones. So we can see how essential proteins are to the human system.
Protein swaps are deliberate efforts made in seeking alternatives to food rich in protein. We are concerned with swapping from consuming meat to nuts, vegetables, and legumes.
I’m a fan of legumes, AKA one-eyed ninjas! Well, that is the name that comes to my mind each time I take a curious look at legumes.
Growing up, legumes were an essential part of my family diet. As a little boy, I wasn’t sure why my parents loved them so much. Then, we boiled ground beans (moimoi or bean cakes), molded in small cups. We also fried ground beans (akara) in oil. We ate odudu or cowpea, a black variant of the beans that take too long to cook. Odudu is rich in protein content too. Soybeans powder served as an alternative for meat in rice, and I recall that we ate them with soup also! Now the tradition continues; I’m not much a fan of beef or any meat.
Now let’s take some indices on how we can be sustainable while enjoying a healthy lifestyle. A colleague shared some knowledge with me: it takes about 2500 gallons of water to produce a pound of meat and 25 gallons to make wheat grain. That’s nearly 2475 gallons (1/100) of water saved! Imagine how much water we save by swapping meat for legumes.
Fruits and Nuts
Living in Northern Nigeria for one year, I discovered why nuts are not taken for granted. Groundnuts and tiger nuts are the primary nuts produced in Nigeria. These nuts are common and can be bought from roadside vendors. Not only is the tiger nut a snack, but it can also help in solving infertility issues in a man.
A meal containing cereals and legumes such as baked beans on toast provides all the essential amino acids found in a typical meat dish. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes are cheaper compared to the cost of meat. Now people produce the food they eat. This is a list of protein-based food: beans, lentils, groundnuts, dates, amaranth, quinoa, hemp seed, green pea, seitan, chickpeas, cowpeas, vegetables, kidney/black beans, etc.
Indeed, swapping from meat-based meals to legumes, nuts and vegetables can go a long way to ensuring a healthy man and environment.