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WWF - Six top tips for a diet that’s healthy for you and the planet

With just 60 days until Earth Hour, WWF enlists the help of top chefs to inspire the nation to eat more sustainably

Top chefs Raymond Blanc OBE, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Tom Aikens have joined forces with WWF to urge the nation to eat more sustainably - starting with a candlelit dinner to celebrate WWF’s Earth Hour on Saturday 19 March. 

Food is at the heart of many environmental issues, especially climate change and the decline in wildlife habitats. Food production has the largest environmental impact of any human activity accounting for 70% of water used by people, nearly 80% of deforestation worldwide and almost a third of greenhouse gas emissions. 

River Cottage founder Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “The food we eat – and the way it is grown and transported – has a huge impact on our planet. There are many things we can do to make that impact more positive: opting for local and seasonal foods, for instance, or eating less meat. A candlelit meal enjoyed during Earth Hour is a fantastic opportunity to consider some of these changes – and of course, to really focus on the food you’re eating, and the person you’re sharing it with!” 

Earth Hour inspires hundreds of millions of people and landmarks, including Big Ben, Times Square and the Taj Mahal to switch off their lights for one hour. The symbolic moment puts a spotlight on the issues facing the planet to remind us that, together, we have the power to make change happen. 

For many the global event is a catalyst for change, with 84% of those who took part in Earth Hour 2015 feeling inspired to do more to help protect the planet. 

This year WWF is encouraging the nation to eat sustainably by following these six simple Livewell principles:

1. Eat more plants. 
Enjoy your five a day with a variety of fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Try to aim for a minimum of three portions of vegetables and two of fruit. If you have a garden or even just a windowsill – why not grow your own herbs and veg? 

2. Eat a variety of food.
Put some colour on your plate and get experimental with food. Nine out of ten people cook the same nine meals again and again – and only three of these are served with veg! It’s time to try something different to spice up your life.

3. Waste less food. 
One third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted so try to plan your meals and write a shopping list. Remember what you eat tonight could also be incorporated into tomorrow’s lunch so don’t forget your leftovers! Not only will this benefit the planet but it will also be gratefully received by your bank balance. 

4. Moderate your meat consumption.
The vast majority of people only eat meat from the same four animals: sheep, pigs, chickens and cows. But why restrict your diet to just four items? Peas, beans and nuts all provide great sources of protein and allow you to get creative with your meal plans.

5. Buy foods that meet a credible certified standard. 
Try to consider MSC, free-range and fair trade options as well as locally sourced foods. Credible certified foods are produced sustainably which helps ensure the conservation of wildlife as well as helping rural farmers and communities. 

6. Eat fewer foods high in fat, salt and sugar. 
We all love a cheeky cheat day but try to keep foods such as cakes, sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks and some breakfast cereals to an occasional treat. Also treat cured and processed meat, fries and crisps with the same respect. 

This year Earth Hour has once again partnered with Food Made Good, run by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, to host candlelit events in many restaurants across the UK. Diners can choose their candlelit dinner venue from a wide range of restaurants; from chains like Brasserie Blanc and Virgin Limited Edition, including Babylon at The Roof Gardens to well-known landmarks such as OXO Tower Restaurant, The Savoy, Daylesford and River Cottage. 

Raymond Blanc OBE, President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association which runs Food Made Good, said: “Thousands of restaurants, from Michelin-star to fish and chips shops are amongst those working with Food Made Good, demonstrating that good food can be produced sustainably. I’m extremely proud that many of these restaurants will be switching off their lights for WWF’s Earth Hour to showcase how easy it is to cook some delicious food that’s good for you and the planet, while reminding us that together we have the power to make change happen. And we already are.”

Tom Aikens, founder of Tom’s Kitchen, said: “The future of our planet as we know it is under threat, particularly from the effects of climate change. Many of the expected impacts will affect poorer communities who are already living in the most vulnerable situations, and will affect the homes of many of the world’s threatened species like orang-utans and tigers. It’s important we care about climate change, and most of all that we act on reducing its impacts – that means us as individuals as well as governments and businesses.  Not only is WWF’s Earth Hour a fun and exciting chance to show you care about our brilliant planet, it’s also your first step to helping to protect its future.”

Everyone can take part in Earth Hour by simply switching off their lights for one hour at 8.30pm on Saturday 19th March 2016. Find out more at wwf.org.uk/earthhour or #EarthHourUK and do it for your planet. 

Editor's notes

For high res headshots and images please visit photo gallery. If prompted please enter password: WWFe4rthh0ur2016

For more information on sustainable recipes or interviews, please get in touch with Emma Roberts: eroberts@wwf.org.uk 

Join in the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #EarthHourUK and @wwf_uk. Find out more and sign up at wwf.org.uk/earthhour

About Earth Hour
Earth Hour, organised by WWF, is the world’s biggest celebration for our amazing planet. In the UK last year, over 10 million people took part, along with over 4,800 schools, 200 landmarks and thousands of businesses and organisations. Iconic landmarks including Big Ben and Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Blackpool Tower, The Kelpies, Caerphilly Castle and many more joined the global lights out.

Globally, from Samoa to Tahiti, a record 172 countries and territories took part in the world’s biggest Earth Hour yet. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, South Africa’s Table Mountain, The Acropolis in Athens, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Empire State Building and Times Square in New York City, and the Las Vegas Strip were just a few of the world-famous landmarks that joined in. 

About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive. Find out more about our work, past and present at wwf.org.uk.

About Food Made Good
Food Made Good is for everyone who gives a fork about where the food on their plate is from and don’t want to leave their principles at home when they dine out. We aim to inspire, inform and campaign on those things that all go to making the food we dine out on “good”, and offer a simple and transparent way to enable people to find ‘good’ eating out options with its Diners’ Guide, which rates venues with One, Two and Three stars. www.foodmadegood.org

For further information, please contact:
Emma Roberts | PR & Personalities Executive | WWF-UK
M: 07771 818 682 | E: eroberts@wwf.org.uk

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