Cultivating good food habits | WWF South Africa

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Cultivating good food habits

I have a habit of obsessing over my food – mostly whether to have a second helping at dinner. But having grown up with a health-conscious dad, it flavours everything I eat.

My dad had a simple approach in his relationship to food. Somewhat of a health nut, I can’t help but feel that he was scornful of my own approach (see: cheese burgers, milkshakes and snacky weekends) – albeit silent in his judgment.

He’d say: “If you’re hungry, eat an apple. If you don’t want an apple, you’re not really hungry.”

While I can’t say we ever settled the debate, one thing’s for sure, he had a healthy respect for food and hardly ever threw something out.

After hearing these truisms for over 30 years, I hear his voice whenever I find myself teetering on the edge of chucking out some food. It’s meant I eat EVERYTHING in my fridge which means I end up saving a pretty penny on my groceries each month because I don’t buy anything unnecessary.

We have the power to change the world through our food choices.

Here’s how I keep food out of the bin:

  • Keeping an eye on the ‘best before’ date. If I know I won’t use the item in time, I give it away.
  • I try to store food creatively to make it visible. Each week, I check the fridge and cupboard to keep tabs on what I have.
  • I try to plan my meals on a weekly basis so that I don’t prepare too much and end up wasting. Plus, I can freeze what’s extra.
  • I’m a big fan of going for seconds rather than heaping my plate.
  • I try to eat the whole item from top to tail. Vegetable skins make amazing broths and soup bases while offal (e.g. heads, organs, hooves) can be used in pet food. 
These are habits formed over years of routine and observation - it would seem that habits are inherited, after all.
 
Working for WWF has given me the chance to learn something new every day – it’s what I love most. The work being done to protect our natural resources for a food secure future inspires me to carry my weight (literally) to follow their example while bringing in my own experiences and ideals.

Melissa du Preez Photo
Melissa du Preez, Communications Officer

Melissa is all about bringing good lifestyle habits that are good for people and good for nature to life.

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