In our previous episode, you were introduced to 5 simple steps/choices to reduce your single-use plastics, as well as the repercussions of said plastics. In this episode, I will be showing you how your food choices can help save some lives – no, don’t worry, I am not jumping on the vegan band-wagon! Read below for more tips on how to become an Ocean Superhero!

1. Breaking Bread:

If you are like me, then there’s nothing more comforting and satisfying than fresh bread. And herein lies the superhero secret – purchase freshly baked breads from a baker, wrapped in paper, instead of those fake, mass-produced, plastic-wrapped breads we buy in the name of convenience. Not only are fresh breads nutritionally better, purchasing them also supports the “little guy” instead of huge corporations. And of course, there’s no plastic thrown out with the crumbs.

2. Put the freeze on frozen foods:

Firstly, frozen foods have lost almost all of their nutritional values by the time you have defrosted and reheated them. Secondly, they are all packaged in plastic. (aargh! The horror that some foods are actually microwaved in their plastic, which releases the plastic toxins into your food!)

Save your health and those of marine animals and opt for fresh vegetables instead of frozen ones. Take time and pre-cook your meals for the week ahead, freeze them in reusable containers and simply reheat and eat when you’re hungry.

3. Farm Fresh:

Speaking of fresh produce, a fun and effective way to rid yourself of all the excess plastic packaging our foods are wrapped in, is to shop at your local Farmer’s Market. Take your basket and fill it with plastic-free, fresh and (usually) organically grown foods. Your body and the oceans will thank you.

4. Gum is not gum!

Sure, we all like to have fresh breath, but did you know that your chewing gum is not made from natural gum? Nope, you are chewing on a piece of mint flavoured PLASTIC!

Gone are the days when actual gum from trees were flavoured for your chewing pleasure. Now, “gum base” is the umbrella name for anything from resin to elastomers, (the molecular composition of which is very similar to plastic). Your gum may also contain polyvinyl acetate, which is infamous for causing tumours. So basically, we are chewing sugar-coated, tumour-forming plastic… yummy. But remember, all these billions of pieces of chewed plastic, eventually gets spat out and it has to go somewhere…

5. I scream for Ice-Cream!

Go ahead, treat yourself, have an ice-cream! But out of respect for our oceans and the environment, please make it an ice-cream cone, and not one of those over packaged, brightly wrapped ice-creams from the supermarket. And try to avoid the big plastic tubs of ice-cream too – both your waistline and the oceans will be happy!

Ultimately, these 5 choices will improve your health and save the lives of marine animals like whales, turtles, dolphins and an ark-full of other species – in fact, over 100 000 marine animals and 1 million sea birds die each year due to plastic. Watch this video for more inspiration to become an Ocean Superhero!