Recipe for Survival

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recipe for survival 1.png RECIPE FOR SURVIVAL is divided into two parts. In Part One, Dr. Hunnes reports on the state of Planet Earth—a portrait that is chilling, bleak and often terrifying. “We face a number of critical dangers—many of them we can see now, and many of them […]

Click here to view original web page at

recipe for survival 1.png
recipe for survival 1.png

RECIPE FOR SURVIVAL is divided into two parts. In Part One, Dr. Hunnes reports on the state of Planet Earth—a portrait that is chilling, bleak and often terrifying. “We face a number of critical dangers—many of them we can see now, and many of them are yet to come,” explains Dr. Hunnes. “I wrote this book to highlight these dangers, inform the public, and provide a set of recipes— opportunities—we can all take right now to slow down and maybe even reverse the trajectory we are on. We only have one home, our Earth, just as we only have one body, our own. Just like we want doctors, dietitians, and nurses to do everything they can to help us when we are sick, we must do everything possible to save our Earth, for she is sick.”

Overall, this is an optimistic book, as Part Two outlines Dr. Hunnes’ recommendations for positive change. Here are twenty “recipes,” pragmatic and doable strategies that individuals and families can make to improve their personal health AND make positive contributions to the environment. Her advice includes adopting a plant-based lifestyle, gardening and storing food in ways that avoid food waste, walking or biking to school and work, holding politicians accountable at the ballot box, and being a conscious consumer in the marketplace.

Readers will likely be most surprised by how much our daily food choices influence not only our own health, but the well-being of the planet. RECIPE FOR SURVIVAL is a call to action, providing the guidance that anyone can put to work right now to improve their own health and their family's health, and make a positive impact on the environment at the same time. Click here for more information about Dr. Hunnes.

1. Cook plant-based meals with your kids.

If you want to significantly lower your own personal carbon footprint (greenhouse gas emissions) and water use, choosing a plant-forward or plant-based diet is the way to go.

A plant-based diet uses less land and water and produces significantly fewer greenhouse gases than does a Standard American Diet (SAD) that tends to be higher in animal products and dairy foods.

Not only that, but a whole, plant-based diet is also better for your health and your children’s health. There are so many studies that show that a plant-based diet may lower the risk of or even prevent many of the chronic diseases that adults (and some children) live with—such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity.

When started at a young age, a plant-based diet may prevent many of these lifelong ailments; and for adults, a plant-based diet may help you feel better and potentially even reverse some of these diseases.

Producing healthy meals with your children now will help keep them healthy their whole lives as well as help keep the Earth healthy for their whole lives. If you had to choose just one thing from this list to do with your child, this would be it.

2.Taste a variety of plant-based milks.

Just like a plant-based diet is better for the planet and your own health, plant-based milks are also better for the environment.

Most cows in the US are raised on factory farms and in crowded conditions. These cows are given feed that requires a lot of land and a lot of water to grow. Also, because this feed is not what cows normally eat, it causes them to produce a lot of methane – a very powerful greenhouse gas – and makes them the second largest source of methane in the US.

Plant-based milks, on the other hand, use on average, only one-tenth as much as land as cow’s milk, half as much water, and produce half as much greenhouse gas emissions.

Nearly all plant-based milks on the market today contain calcium, vitamins that are important for growing children, and are absolutely delicious, without hurting a single creature. We personally love soy milk and oat milk in our house, but there are so many out there now, it’s a treasure trove of flavors!

3.Garden with your kids, in the backyard, on your balcony, in a community garden, or wherever you can!

It doesn’t matter where you live, you can always grow something! We live in an apartment, so on our balcony, we have planters filled with basil, tomatoes, strawberries, and other herbs that grow well in a pot. We’ve supplemented many dinners from our balcony garden.

If you have a yard, cordon off a patch of it and grow some of your own fruits or vegetables.

In our house, we have discovered that when you grow some of your own foods, not only do they taste amazing – garden fresh – but it also really teaches you and your children where food comes from, the work that goes into making it, and a sense of self-efficacy. This is a win-win!

Hard work and dedication can go far in giving your kids that extra boost of confidence!

Depending on where you live, there may also be opportunities to join community gardens, where you can be part of a small plot, usually a raised bed, and work alongside others in the community to grow some of your own produce. It’s a great way to meet new people, get a little physical activity, and learn about foods!

4.Reduce food waste.

Since 40 percent of all foods in the US are discarded before they are ever eaten, we have one of the highest rates of food waste in the world. When wasted foods go to the landfill, they produce large amounts of methane, contributing to greenhouse gases and climate change. If fact, if global “food waste” were a country, it would be the third largest contributor to greenhouse gases after China and the US!

Some ways we can reduce our food waste include: creating meal plans and grocery lists, and storing foods properly before and after cooking them. By reducing food waste we also save money, nearly $1,000 per year! Maybe that extra money you save from not throwing foods out can go toward college or another fun activity!

5.Walk or bike with your children to school.

During the pandemic, many children gained weight, as did their parents. Stuck at home, we were not as active and we may not have been eating as healthfully as we normally do, especially early on. Now that things are approaching a new normal, if you live fairly close to your child’s school, walk or bike with them to school! Getting your hearts pumping in the morning helps clear minds and helps prepare kids for a great day of learning.

We walk or ride our bikes to our son’s school. This is something we have done since he was in kindergarten. Before that, we walked with him to his childcare center.

It’s a nice way to get fresh air first thing and get into the mindset to learn and do some strong work during the day.

It also has the added benefit of lowering your personal carbon footprint.

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