Our tips for a more sustainable shopping list
Fresh is best!
Local & seasonal produce generate less waste & use less resources to get to supermarket shelves, check out this seasonal food guide to see what’s currently available in your area.
Luckily, food that is good for the planet also happens to be good for us too! Here’s a short list of sustainable alternatives that don’t break the bank or your taste buds.
Try swapping out meat for locally-sourced seafood. Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash
Lower footprint meats
Swapping out beef and lamb for kangaroo is a great start for people who aren’t ready to cut out meat from their diet. It’s high in protein, lean, doesn’t need intensive agriculture to produce & puts a third of the pressure on grazing lands compared to beef. Try letting it rest in tin foil for 10 minutes after cooking to make it more tender.
Like kangaroo, seafood has a lower footprint than farmed meats, just be sure to check the label to make sure it is locally sourced.
Mushrooms are a great meat alternative.
Mushrooms are a great alternative to meats for those looking for a meaty texture, try throwing some diced cremini or portobello mushrooms into a risotto, casserole or stew. Just be sure to include some beans or a side of nuts to get all your nutritional requirements.
Mushroom protein (Mycoprotein) is also what you’ll usually find in packaged meat substitutes like vegan burgers, sausages and schnitzels, so feel free to give them a try as well.
For BBQ lovers, jackfruit makes for an awesome pulled pork substitute in burgers and tacos, it also takes a fraction of the prep and cooking time. Throw some sliced eggplant and potatoes on the grill while you’re at it for a hearty meal.
If bolognese and lasagne is a staple in your household, textured vegetable protein (TVP) does a great job of replicating ground beef. Complicated name aside, it’s really just soy based protein like tofu (a good choice for stir fry!), and has a lower water & carbon footprint than meat. Plus, it has a long shelf life, plenty of nutrition and is pretty cheap too.
Try making passata from fresh tomatoes and herbs rather than using canned or premade options next time you’re feeling pizza or pasta. It's easy to make, only leaves behind compostable waste and can be stored and enjoyed for ages.
Falafel is another easy option for nutritious wraps and burgers, try finding it in bulk in powdered form to get the best deal. It lasts forever on shelves and all you need to do is add water, shape into balls and pan fry.
There are plenty of great-tasting milk substitutes to try!
Milk & dairy
Soy also makes for a great milk substitute, or if you’re looking to mix things up - try rice, almond or oat milk instead. There are plenty of other options out there, try a few to see which one you like best - we’d recommend opting for the unsweetened varieties though, some brands tend to use a lot of sugar.
Freeze watermelon slices and turn them into icy poles.
You can also freeze fresh fruit for smoothies & snacks with minimal plastic waste. Watermelon makes for a great icy pole, and frozen grapes are sweet treats for peckish types.
Mixed nuts are a substantial alternative to processed snack foods too, containing plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals.
Hummus dip is another tasty snack that pairs well with sliced carrots, celery & crackers.
It’s still nice to treat yourself to some chocolate or confectionery every now and then, just keep an eye on the label to make sure that it doesn’t contain any palm oil.
Ready to make your grocery list?
Here’s ours to help get you started.
Lower footprint meats
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
Mycoprotein based products
(premade vegan meat substitutes)
Milk & dairy
Oat / Soy / Almond / Rice Milk
Or any other plant-based alternative that you prefer
Fresh & frozen fruit
Hummus & rice crackers
Palm oil free confectionery
Where can I buy these items?
These items are all readily available at Coles, Woolies & Aldi.
If you have a favourite of the three and would like to learn more about the range of low footprint, plant based products offered by each, check out these lists from Veggieful.